Given how many miles taxis put in per day, the concept of electric taxis is certainly appealing. That said, one problem is the amount of time that their batteries can take to recharge – most cabbies won't want to shorten their work day or do a split shift, in order to juice up their cars. With the EVA taxi, however, they wouldn't have to. The prototype vehicle can reportedly get enough of a charge in 15 minutes to travel 200 km (124 mi).
EVA was created via the TUM Create project, a collaboration between Germany's Technische Universität München and Singapore's Nanyang Technological University. The 200-km figure is based on typical Singapore taxi-driving patterns, with the air conditioning turned on.
The vehicle gets the most out of one charge due partly to its lightweight carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) monocoque body, along with a unique thermal management system that keeps the 450-volt 63-Ah lithium polymer battery from overheating when charging rapidly.
It also utilizes an overhead air conditioning system, in which cooling air is delivered to each passenger individually. This means that power isn't wasted cooling the entire cabin, or cooling seats with no passengers in them. Additionally, the AC gets a break thanks to a separate system that sucks heat and moisture away from passengers through the seats.
Other features of the EVA taxi include a front passenger seat that folds forward to reveal an integrated child seat, and an onboard smartphone-accessible system for entertainment, booking and digital payments.
The 5-door prototype has four seats, a 0-100 km/h (62 mph) acceleration time of 10 seconds, and a top speed of 111 km/h (69 mph). It is currently on display at the Tokyo Motor Show.
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