We were beaten to the electric taxi fleet - by 120 years!
Originally published on 10 Nov 2017.
Here at Green cabs we are always trying to reduce emissions and that is the main reason driving our passion for electric cars in general and taxis specifically.
We think we are pretty good being at the technological edge and pushing boundaries so it is a little humbling to find out that in 1900 ninety percent of New York City’s taxis were electric vehicles.
These electric cars were built by the Electric Carriage and Wagon Company of Philadelphia.
In fact in 1900, electric cars outsold all other types of cars.
In 1902 an electric car, the Baker Torpedo reached 80 mph in a speed test before crashing and killing two spectators. It was later clocked as high as 120 mph, but with spectators not invited this time. That’s faster than the top speed of our Nissan Leaf but thankfully our Leaf’s record for killing spectators remains at zero.
Electric cars in 1900 were quiet, emitted no smoke and were easy to start compared with other gas and steam vehicles. The only real advantage that gas powered cars had at this time were the long ranges they were capable of with larger tanks and the ability to fill up quickly when the tank was empty. (Sounds familiar to EV devotees today?)
Fast forward almost 120 years and the story is almost the same. Electric cars are in the minority ( but growing in numbers ) and on average lose with respect to range to their dinosaur drinking cousins but things are changing.
Technology gets better by the day range increases while charging times decrease.
We reckon this time the electric taxi is here to stay. We might be 120 years late but we got there in the end!