The emissions-free vehicles have been on the road since last November and are being operated by private company TAXI-E.
Each one of Amsterdam’s 3,000 taxis normally emits up to 35 times more carbon dioxide than a regular car.
And that, to TAXI-E founders Ruud Zandvliet and Edvard Hendriksen, signalled a green-field opportunity.
‘Funny enough, we saw the Nissan LEAF entering the market and that was, for us, the moment we thought it’s probably possible to start a successful taxi business using electric cars powered on green energy, and we can greenify a traditionally polluting market,’ said Zandvliet.
To help TAXI-E expand its fleet to 100 LEAF taxis next year, its most recent project to build 40 standard chargers and four quick chargers will officially go online next month, becoming Europe’s largest charging hub.
Amsterdam’s municipal government has also reinstated subsidies, now offering 10,000 euros toward every new electric taxi.
Pieter Swinkels, a spokesman for the Municipality of Amsterdam, said the city’s air pollution was at the root of the government’s plan to make all taxis electric — and TAXI-E is a pioneer in that initiative.
‘We don’t own the energy companies as a city. What we can do is stimulate green energy by buying it ourselves, like we do for all the city buildings,’ said Swinkels. ‘We also have all the charging stations within the city use green energy, so everybody who has an electric car charges with green electricity.’
A cleaner future
TAXI-E’s partner, Greenchoice, supplies the green fleet with 100 per cent renewable energy.
Amsterdam’s government helps to support the use of sustainable energy generated through wind turbines, as well as biomass, hydropower and solar panels. Sustainable business start-ups, such as TAXI-E, are the link between renewables and industry, paving the way for a cleaner future not only in Amsterdam, but throughout Europe.
With an eye on becoming the largest EV taxi fleet in Europe, Zandvliet said he expects many other cities to copy their clean fleet concept.