Dispatch app operator announces project to promote EV taxis

REUTERS/Thomas Peter
Taxies park outside Tokyo station in Tokyo, Japan, February 16, 2016.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Mobility Technologies Co., the operator of the taxi dispatch app “GO,” said Monday that it will launch a project to encourage the taxi industry to shift to electric vehicles.

The company will provide up to 2,500 EVs on lease to around 100 taxi operators across the country. It also plans to install charging stations and create a system for efficient charging.

It hopes to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 30,000 tons per year by 2027.

Currently, there are approximately 210,000 taxis in Japan, and EVs account for only around 0.1% of them.

“The shift to EVs for taxis, which we see on a daily basis, will change people’s awareness,” Mobility Technologies President Hiroshi Nakajima told a press conference. “It will be a catalyst for the decarbonization of Japan.”

Using up to ¥28 billion, including government aid, the company will support the leasing of EVs, such as Toyota Motor Corp.’s bZ4X and Nissan Motor Co.’s Leaf and Ariya.

It will also install up to 2,900 battery chargers at taxi company offices and other locations effectively free of charge.

The app operator will also develop and offer a system that uses artificial intelligence to create optimal charging plans that take into account travel distance and operational status.

Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. will partner with Mobility Technologies on the decarbonization of taxi offices and the optimal placement of charging equipment.

Meanwhile, Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Co. will offer new insurance products covering equipment failure.