Mitsubishi i MiEV taxis to be released on Tokyo Streets
Tokyo taxi commuters now have the option to ride in an electric powered vehicle for the same price as a conventional taxi. The first step is the announcement this week of the addition of two Mitsubishi i MiEV electric cars to the fleet run by the Hinomaru Limosine Company. They will be driven primarily by women with knowledge of the local area -- currently limited to the Otemachi, Marunouchi or Yurakucho districts -- who can provide information to tourists. The electric cars will be available between 8:30AM to 5:30PM.
Other Japanese companies are not far behind in instituting electric car taxi service. Better Place announced in January it's plans to create a fleet with Nihon Kotsu, the largest taxi operator in Tokyo, that will include battery-swapping stations. Although Japanese taxis only represent about two percent of the total vehicles on the road, studies show that they are responsible for up to 20 percent of Japan's carbon dioxide emissions because they average such great distances every day.