The New York Times has taken a look at the suitability of electric vehicles for use as Detroit taxis compared to gas and "other" vehicles. Needless to say, the Times found the EV to be a very good option for the low speed urban duty cycle typical of a modern cab. Compared to gas powered cabs, pulling juice off the grid was very cheap making for low operating costs which are critical to cab profitability. The maintenance costs are also lower, due to the relative mechanical simplicity.
Passengers also preferred the electrics for their smooth acceleration and low noise compared to gas cabs. Passengers were surprised to learn they were in electric vehicles, expecting them to be much slower.

When this particular article was published, there were already more than 600 electric taxis running in Berlin, Germany (compared to 1,600 gas versions). The biggest American operator of electric cabs, according to the report, is Detroit Taxicab and Transfer company. The company even installed chargers at cab-stands to keep the cars ready to go. According to the Times, the electric may not be able to compete with gas cars in all applications but for urban cab service, EVs definitely work. The article was published in 1915.

[Source: New York Times]

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