You learn something new everyday. For example, I knew
that traditionally taxis in London were black and ugly,
and that taxi's in New York were yellow and big. I also
was aware that most taxi's in Africa were battered old
Mercedes. But I didn't know that Taxi's in Milan were
traditionally painted in a mix of green and black. But
I do now. And so do you.
The Volkswagen Milano Taxi was debuted at the 2010 Hanover
Trade Show. The concept was designed to act as a study
into the feasibility of a mass-market, emission-free taxi
which operated solely on electricity.
The electric motor found in the VW Milano Taxi concept
is capable of generating up to 115 horsepower. Powered
by a lithium-ion battery which is located under the floor
of the vehicle, the motor is capable of taking the concept
up to a 74 mph top speed. And over 186 miles before a
recharge is needed.
One of the biggest problems facing plug-in rechargeable
electric vehicles is the downtime which occurs during
recharges. One can only imagine how furious a NY cabbie
would be if he had to wait for 6 hours to recharge his
car! Thankfully VW's engineers are pretty smart people,
and they've found a way to get over 80 percent charge
into the Milano Taxi concept's batteries in just over
The interior of the Volkswagen Milano Taxi concept has
been designed with space, efficiency and convenience in
mind. Despite it's small size (3.73 meters long by 1.66
meters wide) the concept can easily carry two passengers
and a generous amount of luggage. A glass roof helps keep
the interior nice and bright, as do the large side windows.
Once inside, the passengers can use a touch screen LCD
display mounted on the back of the driver's seat to see
an overview of the route being taken, pay the fare or
adjust the climate control in the back of the vehicle.
The driver also gets an LCD screen which can display a
variety of information relating to the vehicle systems,
passenger fare or navigation functions.
The Volkswagen Milano Taxi isn't designed to replace the
larger MPV style taxis which can haul six or seven people
and a whole load of cargo. But considering most taxi journeys
are for only one or two passengers, a nippy, emissionless
vehicle which can navigate congested urban streets could
certainly find its niche.