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Tokyo to Have World's First Swappable-Battery Electric Taxis


Due to a government-funded pilot project to test emission-free cars, the world’s first taxis with easily replaceable batteries hit the streets of the Japanese capital on Monday.

Japan’s energy agency has launched the purpose-built vehicles that can run on easily swapped batteries, rather than wait to be recharged or switch to other fuels. Three cars based on the Nissan Dualis will operate as normal taxis. “Tokyo can become the capital of electric vehicles,” said Kiyotaka Fujii, president of the Japanese unit of Better Place.

According to the company, ordinary Tokyo taxis can clock up as many as 300 kilometers a day, the city being world’s largest taxi market with 60,000 cabs more than London, New York and Paris combined.

Taxis are a main source of pollution in the Japanese capital, with vehicles emitting about 20 percent of all carbon dioxide (CO2). They represent only two percent of all passenger vehicles in Tokyo. “By building a good business model, we believe this technology can have a significant impact on the economy and society,” said Minoru Nakamura, the Japanese energy agency official.

[Source: Physorg]

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