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A fleet of 100 electric taxis is in en route for Mexico City. These electrified hatchbacks – Nissan Leafs, to be exact – are the first wave of a green pollution-decreasing initiative unveiled by officials in Mexico City recently.

Nissan Mexicana president Jesus Munoz says the Japanese automaker has officially handed over the keys to three Nissan Leaf hatchbacks to the City government. The trio is part of a trial program that initially calls for 100 of the electric taxis to transport passengers around Mexico City. Eventually, the goal is to have 500 taxicab Leafs serve the citizens of Mexico's capital city.

General Electric (GE) has installed a single charging station in the historic area of downtown Mexico City. The unit, a quick-charge system, is one of several scheduled to be installed. Nissan estimates that Mexico City's use of 100 electric taxis will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by a rather impressive five tons a day.
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Nissan Mexicana delivers the first Nissan LEAF vehicles to Mexico City Government

A total of 100 units to be delivered as part of the Taxis Cero Emisiones program
The first charging station for the zero-emissions Nissan LEAF to initiate operations

Nissan Mexicana announced that history is being made with the delivery of the first Nissan LEAF units -- the 100% electric vehicle with zero emissions and no tailpipe. The Nissan LEAF models were presented to the Mexico City Government under the definitive agreement signed last November 2010 as part of the World Mayors Summit on Climate.

José Muñoz, Nissan Mexicana President and General Manager, delivered the first three Nissan LEAF vehicles to Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico City Mayor, in advance of a total 100 units to be delivered starting this month and as part of a pilot program titled Taxis Cero Emisiones (Zero Emissions Taxis) to be implemented throughout the city.

Event attendees included Martha Delgado Peralta, Mexico City's Environment Secretary; Dr. Alejandra Moreno Toscano, a high authority of the Mexico City Historical Center; Dr. Jaime Arceo Castro, Mexico City Government Coordinator for Efficient Use of Energy; Armando Quintero, Transportation and Highways Secretary; and Gabriela Hernández, President of General Electric México.

Considering that a taxi with a conventional internal combustion engine covers close to 300 kms. per day, it is estimated that with the substitution of these 100 Nissan LEAF electric models, around five tons of CO2 will cease to be released into the atmosphere every day, with these 100% electric, zero emissions, without pipeline vehicles that don't use gasoline.
Nissan LEAF is a five-passenger vehicle capable of a 160km range, with performance similar to a six-cylinder engine vehicle. Its torque of 207 lb-ft, is directly transmitted to 100% of the high response 80kW electric motor and the front wheels, with an initial zero revolutions per minute, for immediate response.

The car consumes an approximate $0.23 pesos per Km (as per current electricity costs), and as reference, when compared to a conventional gasoline powered vehicle, Nissan LEAF's performance would be equivalent to 42 Km/l.
Nissan LEAF has been very well received by industry critics and is listed as one of Time Magazine's 50 Best Inventions of 2009 awarded in November of that year, and has received significant honors including: Good Design Award 2010 BEST15, presented by the Organization for Promotion of Industrial Design in Japan in September 2010; Best for the Environment, in November 2010, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); European Auto of the Year 2011 (November 2010), by a jury of 57 leading automotive journalists from 23 European countries; and was voted World Car of the Year at the New York Auto Show in April 2011.

According to a recently announced global business plan - Nissan Power 88 - the company aims to further consolidate its leadership in zero-emission vehicles by offering seven completely electric vehicles between now and 2016, and to continue with the successful introduction of Nissan LEAF. The range of electric vehicles will include light commercial vehicles and a premium all-electric car to be launched by Infiniti in 2014.

"Our corporate vision is that we are before the dawn of a new era in the global automotive industry and we leading the way towards zero-emissions mobility on a mass scale in the market. With Nissan LEAF, this era of zero-emission mobility becomes a reality," said Jose Muñoz, President and General Manager of Nissan Mexicana, and added, "we express our gratitude to the Mexico City Government, headed by Mr. Marcelo Ebrard, and the Department of the Environment for Mexico City, led by Ms. Martha Delgado, and Dr. Jaime Arceo, Coordinator of Energy Efficiency for the Mexico City Government, as well as to all government officials who have participated, for their support and work towards this particular green initiative taking place in Mexico City."

The agreement with Mexico City Government authorities includes all necessary infrastructure required for the comprehensive system of electric vehicles, such as the installation of recharging stations.

The delivery of the first three Nissan LEAF units also marks the start of operations of the first charging station in Mexico City, with equipment provided by General Electric. The station is located, in historic downtown Mexico City, and will serve as first facility to supply power to electric vehicles in this area of the city.

About Nissan Mexicana

Nissan Mexicana, S.A. de C.V. is a subsidiary of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., established in Mexico in September 1961. The company has corporate, marketing, sales, manufacturing, distribution, and design facilities in cities of Aguascalientes, Distrito Federal, Cuernavaca, and Toluca. 2011 marks the 50th Anniversary of operations in Mexico, where Nissan is a proud sponsor of the Guadalajara 2011 XVI Pan American Games. Nissan Mexicana currently employs over 10,400 workers and employees. In 2010, the company recorded sales of 189,518 in Mexico, and registered a 23.1% market share (2.4 pp more than in 2009), with a production of 506,490 units for the domestic and export markets. In 2011, and through the month of August, the company has sold 136,426 vehicles, with a market penetration of 24.5% producing 382,250 units. Nissan is focused on improving the environment with the Nissan Green Program 2010, an initiative that includes reducing CO2 emissions and increasing recycling efforts. Moreover, the company's foundation, Fundación ANDANAC/Nissan manages a Social Support Fund for the construction of public elementary schools. Over the course of eight years, the organization has built and equipped 63 schools to benefit more than 30,000 disadvantaged children throughout the country.

About Nissan Motor Co.

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan's second-largest automotive company in terms of volume, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 248,000 employees globally, Nissan sold more than 4.1 million vehicles in 2010, generating revenue of ¥8.77 trillion yen ($102.37 billion US). With a strong commitment to developing exciting and innovative products for everyone, Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of 64 models under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. A pioneer in zero-emission mobility, Nissan made history with the introduction of the Nissan LEAF, the first affordable, mass-market, pure-electric vehicle and winner of numerous international wards, including the prestigious 2011 European Car of the Year and 2011 World Car of the Year. For more information, visit our website at: http://www.nissan-global.com/EN/.


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  • 19 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      The battery pack is a lot smaller than they are putting in most vehicles designed for taxi use. It all depends on usage patterns of course, but it doesn't sound like a brilliant idea to me.
      super390
      • 3 Years Ago
      I wanna be the first guy to start a Tesla Model S limousine service. Might as well go for the big spenders.
      lne937s
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think it is important to keep in mind that this would need 2 charges per day. Including stops to load an unload passengers, average speed during rush hour in many neighborhoods is slower than you can walk here in NYC, and I hear Mexico City is worse. City traffic averages out to be very slow, with a lot of stops. Tests in Tokyo have shown positive results using quick chargers. Nissan is the best selling manufacturer in Mexico, and it makes a lot of sense from a marketing perspective to expose as many people as possible to LEAF to show of Nissan's technological abilities. Taxis are a good way to do that (although I would not use light-colored cloth seats).
        Joeviocoe
        • 3 Years Ago
        @lne937s
        The Leaf needs only 1 charge per night. 80 miles per charge is easy to get in city driving. 40 miles in the morning is good enough for 4 hours of 10mph driving in the city (6am - 10am) and 40 miles in the afternoon... You could charge it with L2 (240v) during lunch if you want to also.
      Emc2
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Leaf is commonly used as taxicab in Japan. EVs are ideal for the stop-and-go traffic of urban cores.
      Spec
      • 3 Years Ago
      This sounds like a really bad idea that will leave a bad impression of EVs. This is not what EVs are good for. Well, at least we should get some data on what repeated fast charging does to a vehicle in the field.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Spec
        This is *exactly* what BEVs are good for. Running in a congested urban center, making constant short trips, where they can be charged as needed at a centralized depot (or depots strategically placed).
          Spec
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          "2. Are your really bringing up "range anxiety" as a con as to why a taxi driver might not want a BEV? " Yes!! A commuter won't have to worry about range anxiety because they know exactly where they are going and can deal with it. However, a cab driver literally has no clue as to where the next fare will ask them to go. The next fare may ask for a 2 block ride, a 2 mile ride, or a 20 mile ride. That 20 mile ride may end up in the putting them 20 miles further away from the central charger such that they run out of juice trying to get back to the charger even if they had enough juice to get the fare to their destination. Since a cab driver literally does not know their next destination, it is quite rational for them to have 'range anxiety'.
          Joeviocoe
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          lne937s, thanks for the statistic. And that is the AVERAGE... the fleet of Leafs will not have to do the average... they will only be required to do the lower percentage of the entire taxi fleet.. the downtown/city centre districts.. where the distances are short, but the congestion is high. They will plan it so that fast charging is not even needed at all. 186 miles per day may be average.. but there are some taxis that do less than 100. And since these Leafs are supplements, they can simple take over areas that guarantee fewer than 80 miles per day... and still be useful and save a lot of fuel costs.
          Joeviocoe
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          I will HAVE TO agree with LTAW... *sigh* /jk ;P Have any of you actually been to Mex City? This is a Taxi fleet SUPPLEMENT... iin a major city like MC, there are only about 10% of the Taxis on the road during the 3rd shift... the vast majority of the taxis in the fleet do NOT pull 24 hour duty. The Leafs will not! Period. They will be used for the peak times. MC has many more taxis to fill in the 24 hour duty schedule. So that is maybe 10 hours at the most... with a lull in the middle of the day usually where taxis can slow charge as needed. In fact, there are enough taxis in the fleet to only use the Leafs during the peak hours. and still be driving each Leaf 160 miles per day. 80 miles in the morning, 5 hour break 80 miles in the afternoon. And if used in the city centre... 80 miles is way too much. Stop and go traffic reduces the entire morning rush hour to 40 miles or less (6am -10am) ...yes, that is 10 mph average (counting stopping to swap fares)! Welcome to the city. So at 10am, there is a major lull in traffic AND need for taxis... and the entire 100 Leaf supplement fleet could go back to the dispatch lots for recharging (yeah, that would require some logistics to install all those L2 chargers) until the 3pm - 7pm shift... and another 40 miles or so. Since the mileage is so low (if these are only for the inner city) then daytime recharging might not even be needed. No Level 3 chargers are needed. Just proper management of the fleet. Use EV during peak time and very dense zones.... and the rest of the fleet does what it normally does. The right tool for the right job!
          Ziv
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Letstakeawalk, I want these Leaf's to succeed, but the fact is that it won't be easy. Taxi's can't be zipping home to depot every two hours to refuel or their drivers will be losing money in down time. Not to mention that frequent fast charging, at currently non-existent fast chargers, would degrade the packs over time. The point I made about Seattle and the hybrid buses is an important one. Good intentions don't replace good planning. The Leaf taxis will succeed if they operate from a central location, i.e. a hotel or an airport less than 30 miles from their most frequent destination. Then the taxis can re-charge as the cabs sit in the hack stand line, though most hack lines don't last more than 30 minutes, so maybe an airport 15 miles from their usual destination would work better. But if Mexico City puts the Leaf Cabs out there and tries to run them like a normal cab, it just won't work. I hope that they are planning to accent the Leaf strengths, maneuverability and low per mile fuel costs while taking their weaknesses into account. Their 80 mile AER is something that they have to work around or they will fail in a big way, but if they do this intelligently, cabbies will pay extra to have a car that costs less than half what an ICE cab costs to operate. And they will get green cred, too. In a city as polluted as Mexico City, that will be a big plus in and of itself.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          "However, a cab driver literally has no clue as to where the next fare will ask them to go. The next fare may ask for a 2 block ride, a 2 mile ride, or a 20 mile ride." Easily solved. The cab driver says no to the fare, and picks up a shorter one.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          So you agree that the Leaf is an ideal candidate for urban use. What a lot of words to basically say, "You're right." /*Anything* can be mucked up by misapplication, but that's no reason to be pessimistic.
          Spec
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Yes, EVs are GREAT for congested urban driving. But they are TERRIBLE at running for 8 to 12 hours a day! (They are much better as owned commuter vehicles that drive maybe 2 hours a day and can recharge every night.) Here are the problems: -If you are fast-charging the battery multiple times a day, will that burn out the battery quickly? I guess we will find out. -When the amount in the battery starts to run down, how does the cab driver know if he can take another fare or have to run back to the centralized charging station? With gasoline, there are refuel stations all over the place but these cabs will all need to go back to a central location when they start running low. Will a cab get stranded with no juice? Will the cabbies be running back to the central depot all the time because of fear of running out of juice while driving a fare?
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          "But they are TERRIBLE at running for 8 to 12 hours a day! (They are much better as owned commuter vehicles that drive maybe 2 hours a day and can recharge every night.)" I'm just repeating your statement for clarity - I don't necessarily agree with your conclusion. 1. Fast Charging is meant for this sort of use, maybe it will wear the battery out more quickly, but it's a sunk cost anyway, and a business such as a taxi will incorporate replacement costs as part of their operating expense. The combined trips of thousands of passengers will buy the next battery, which is an entirely different situation from a private owner who'd have to foot their own bill (and would prefer not to use fast charging in order to prolong their battery). Modern taxis chew through all sorts of things at an accelerated rate - why would the battery in a BEV be considered any less expendable? 2. Are your really bringing up "range anxiety" as a con as to why a taxi driver might not want a BEV? Because you think he's too stupid to know when he needs to recharge?
          Ziv
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          LetsTakeAWalk, this could be a really good use of the Leaf, but it would be easy for them to botch it as well. It is like years ago when Seattle bought 20 hybrid buses that were built for stop and go driving, and used them on an express route where the regenerative braking wasn't used much, if at all. The Leaf isn't huge, but in a massively congested area like Mexico City, that is a plus. The question I have, is how will they be utilized best. Taxis usually work 24 hours a day with 2 or 3 drivers taking the car in turns. If the cars are used as a house taxi at larger hotels, they will be able to slow charge to top off the packs at their leisure. If they function as a normal taxi, standing in lines to pick up fares, they will lose a bit of their utility, since they will either have to fast charge or sit overnight, with no income, to charge. Or maybe they can make a deal with the hotel that they will be able to get a place in the hack line but go somewhere close by to charge while the other taxis in front of them get their fares. Knowing cab-drivers in Miami and DC, that might not work really well. The Leaf can make a great urban mini-taxi, but it will not be a simple thing to make it work.
          Dave D
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          I've spent a good deal of time in Mexico City and it is hard to cover more than 70-80 miles in an 8 hour shift driving in that city. The Leaf will thrive in these conditions. And believe me, one thing they REALLY need is something that will reduce the number of cars spewing clouds of crap out the exhaust in city-center. Of course, they need a few MILLION of them NOT spewing crap...but I guess the first hundred is a start.
          lne937s
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Spec, They actually did a study to find the average cab in Mexico city goes less than 300 km per day. That equals an overnight charge and one quick charge. With an electric car, the number of miles travelled is far more important than hours of operation. Urban driving may take a long time, but you really aren't going that many miles. Having a cab driver take at least one 30 minute break a day is a good thing, as they are piloting a deadly projectile surrounded by pedestrians.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          I agree that many here don't seem to realize how compact Mexico City really is. Ziv, you agree that the Leaf can be a good taxi, but then you try to explain why it wouldn't, inventing hypothetical scenarios. I agree that anything good can be undone with poor planning, but have some faith that those who implement BEV taxis can take into account some basic planning. Most trips will likely be within the urban center, which isn't very big. That's why this is an ideal situation for them to run around in - not to mention the slow speeds, and the stop-and-go-traffic.
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