The new Milano Taxi concept catr has made its debut at the Hanover Trade Show and it shows the rapid rate of progress in the area of battery technology.
The concept is a study into the viability of a mass-market, emission-free taxi powered by an electric motor.
The motor, which is capable of generating a peak of 115 PS, is fed through a lithium-ion battery integrated into the underside of the vehicle with a storage capacity of 45 Kilowatt-hours. This, combined with a kerb weight of 1,500 kg, allows the Milano Taxi concept to travel at speeds of up to 74 mph and up to 186 miles between charges.
In addition, the charging time of the lithium-ion batteries has been substantially reduced with over 80 per cent of its total capacity being reached in just over an hour.
Along with an innovative drivetrain, the Milano Taxi concept features clever packaging to make the vehicle as practical and friendly as possible for its occupants.
Despite measuring just 3.73 metres in length, 1.66 metres in width and 1.60 metres in height, making it shorter and narrower than the Fox, the Milano Taxi concept is capable of carrying two passengers, with rear legroom which rivals that of luxury saloons. Substantial space is also assigned at the front of the car to carry luggage while entry to the vehicle is made easier and more practical through the integration of a large door that both swivels and slides forward.
Once aboard, the passengers can access an LCD display mounted on the reverse of the driver’s seat to see an overview of the route being taken, pay the fare or change the climate functions in the back of the vehicle. The driver has a similar screen that can be personalised to show information relating to the vehicle systems, passenger fare and navigation functions.
The Milano Taxi concept car debuts a simple, clean appearance that draws inspiration from the classic Samba Bus from the 1950’s as well as the current Volkswagen design language.
The Milano Taxi is presented as a concept, while Volkswagen continues to work towards its strategy to launch its first electric vehicle by 2013.
See also: ZEV Ltd Peugeot E7 Electric Taxi – lithium-ion battery technology and electronic management software installed in a converted Peugeot van.