Feeds

Japan gets battery swapping electric taxis

Making Tokyo a 'Better Place'

High performance access to file storage

You'll soon have a one-in-15,000 chance of hailing an all-electric taxi when in Tokyo.

The electric-vehicle entrepreneurs at Better Place have announced a partnership with Tokyo's largest taxi fleet, Nihon Kotsu, to conduct a pilot project that will supply "up to four" prototype electric cabs to a city that currently houses 60,000 taxis.

Electric taxis aren't new - Manganese Bronze has teamed up with The Tanfield Group to supply them to Londoners, for example. What is new in Wednesday's announcement is that the Nihon Kotsu taxis will be based on Better Place's swappable battery system.

Also notable is the help that Better Place and Nihon Katsu are getting from the Japanese government. The project will be supported by the country's Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry's Natural Resources and Energy Agency.

As Kiyotaka Fujii, president of Better Place Japan, explained, "Japan continues to be a leader in automotive engineering and innovation, and the government's funding of Better Place for the world's first battery switchable electric taxis is a testament to the country’s commitment to sustainable transportation."

The taxis will have their batteries swapped at the sprawling Roppongi Hills art, office, and entertainment complex, just west of the Tokyo's übertrendy Roppongi shopping and nightlife district.

Nihon Kotsu intends to treat the electric taxis exactly as it does the rest of its fleet - sending them on regular routes and tying them up in Tokyo's notorious rush-hour traffic just as if they were standard gas-powered vehicles.

Although the pilot program is a small one, it's another small victory for Better Place founder and CEO Shai Agassi, who has written on his blog, The Long Tailpipe: "We need to find a better transportation energy platform...one that does not depend on magic liquids bubbling up from the bottom of our oceans and spews the carbon so neatly stored in the ground back into the atmosphere." ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
New FEMTO-MOON sighted BIRTHING from Saturn's RING
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.