Electric taxis in 1943

I’m a firm believer in the electric car movement and an even bigger believer that the hydrogen fuel cell should be fast tracked, but that’s another discussion re infrastructure etc.

I’m loving the technology that new car manufacturers are putting into electric vehicles like the new Porsche Taycan and the direction that’s all going, but I’m a little bewildered that if we’re serious about what’s happening in this sector, why haven’t Governments lead the way!

For example, why are there not more electric powered taxis on our roads, I know there are many hybrid taxis around, but why isn’t it mandatory for taxi licences only to be allocated to electric vehicles? This isn’t anything new as back in 1895 there were hundreds of electric taxis, called ‘Electrobats’ that cruised around New York City, they had a charging station on Broadway and people loved them because they didn’t get covered in dirt or soot.

Infact history tells us that on May 20th, 1899, New York taxi driver Jacob German was spotted going 12mph along Lexington Avenue in his Electrobat Cab. At the time, the speed limit was 8mph, so in comparison to other vehicles, he probably appeared to have been flying, but Bicycle Police Office Schuessler witnessed this breach of the law, pulled German over and gave him what is believed to be the worlds first speeding fine, by putting him into jail.

Unfortunately for the ‘Electrobat’, Henry Ford and Co were able to undercut his electric-powered competition in manufacturing costs and the price of fuel was so cheap, it became unviable to run electric cabs and so by the 1920, all the Electrobats had disappeared from the streets.

Some suggest that until the battery capabilities are improved enabling the cabs to run 24 hours a day and not loose time with recharging etc, electric cabs won’t work effectively today. However why can’t we take a leaf out of this Spanish Taxi Company who in 1943 had an easy solution for their electric cabs charging issues?

1943 Electric Vehicle

Just a thought, ….. but I do believe more Government vehicles should be electric or at a minimum hybrid.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *