Electric Taxi Experiment

New York want to experiment with replacing their fleet of yellow cabs with electric versions in a continuing effort to make the city greener. As this article presents, they will start this week with six but hope to convert 1/3 of the fleet by 2020.

Since NY cabbies want to maximize the time they spend driving during their shift, the Limousine commission needs to encourage these drivers to make up for the 60 - 90 minutes they will be charging their cabs. They have done that by reducing the daily rental rate and allowing them to decline fares that put them out of range of charging units when they are nearing the end of a charge.

The big surprise I received when reading this article is that a typical cab only drives about 100 miles in a typical day. Since the car goes 80 miles on a charge, only one charge a day is expected.

One cabbie suggested placing charging units near restaurants with bathroom facilities so that the drivers can be efficient during their charging times.

It seems like a better solution would be to have 23 cabs for every 24 drivers and allow them to switch out one per hour with the car they are driving on a regular schedule. But maybe drivers are particular about which car they use.