Barcelona passengers to experience Nissan next-gen taxis
BARCELONA, June 2 — Barcelona is the latest city to adopt Nissan Motor Co.’s next-generation electric taxi after a variant of the NV200 van hit the streets of India earlier this year.
The state-of-the-art cab will also make its debut in New York in October 2013 and the Yokohama-based company says it has high hopes that the NV200 will become the standard on the streets of China as well.
The new uses for the vehicle come after the announcement here on Wednesday that Nissan Leaf electric vehicles are to be tested as taxis in New York for about six months from July.
The US city will take possession of 13,000 new taxis from Nissan — all of which will feature the distinctive bright yellow livery — and the company hopes to provide a mixed fleet.
“If (the test) is successful, then obviously there is a possibility that a small part of the mix of the fleet of New York taxis could become EVs,” Andy Palmer, executive vice president of the automaker, told reporters.
Planned innovations in the vehicles — many of which are the response to requests from drivers, owners and passengers — include a 2-liter, 4-cylinder powertrain, ample room for four passengers and their luggage, a “low-annoyance” horn linked to exterior lights that indicate when the driver is pressing the horn and sliding doors with grab handles.
The other unique features include a transparent roof panel that will provide unique views of the city, independently controlled rear air-conditioning, environmentally friendly and easy-to-clean seat fabric and a mobile charging station for passengers that includes a 12 volt electrical outlet and two USB plugs.
The van will also be fitted with a bullet-proof screen between the driver and the passenger compartment. Palmer added that the NV200, which was displayed at the New York auto show in April, has superior passenger and driver comfort, the highest safety standards and significant fuel-economy improvements.
“We’ve taken a very innovative car — the NV200 — and we’ve adapted it to the requirements of the New York taxi commission...”
The two other designs short-listed for the New York project were vehicles by Ford Motor Co. and Karsan, a Turkish company.
City authorities based their final decision on the opinions of 23,000 people who were asked to help select the new vehicle. The NV200 will be produced at Nissan’s facility in Cuernavaca, Mexico, and will be a modified version of the compact commercial vehicle that is currently available in global markets, including Japan, Europe and China. The suggested retail price of each vehicle has been set at US$29,000 (RM104,400). — Afp-Relaxnews