You may know of electric buses and electric ambulances, but another type of electric vehicle (EV) that has been catching the interest of fleet operators is the electric cab. Electric taxi cabs are an innovative way to improve sustainability in transportation services and offer many other benefits to fleet operators.
Here, we delve into the feasibility of using EVs as electric cabs as well as their advantages and disadvantages. We also share solutions to help you effectively manage an electric taxi fleet. This will help you own and run an electric cab fleet while harnessing its benefits in your operations.
Can You Use an Electric Car as a Taxi?
EVs first emerged in the 1800s, but it took centuries before they became a popular mode of transportation. It was only in the early 2000s that their popularity increased with the mass production and worldwide release of hybrid vehicles from Prius and Honda.
Today, we can also see electric cabs and hybrid cabs on the roads of many cities around the world. In fact, companies like Uber have been using EVs in their fleets for many years now.
That said, the adoption of electric cabs is slow. When citing New York electric taxi cabs examples as of 2022, only 25 electric cabs were running in a city that had 13,587 conventional yellow taxis. But growing concerns about climate change and emissions have promoted the use of zero-emission vehicles like electric cabs in New York and other big cities globally.
New developments and technologies in the EV space have also increased the feasibility of cab operators who want to use EVs in their business, making them a viable transportation option.
Pros and Cons of Owning Electric Cabs
Let us delve into the benefits and drawbacks of owning and operating electric cabs:
Here are the pros of switching to electric cabs:
Low Fuel and Maintenance Costs
Owning and running electric cabs is less expensive than conventional gasoline-fueled cabs. A Consumer Reports study conducted in 2020 reported that EV running costs are typically 60% less than vehicles with internal combustion engines (ICEs). This helps electric cab operators save a lot of money in the long run and stay profitable.
Also, it does not cost much to maintain electric cabs compared to traditional cabs. Conventional cabs have many moving parts which need regular care and maintenance. They also need frequent oil changes which add to their maintenance costs over the long haul.
Meanwhile, electric cabs have only one moving part — the electric motor. This makes it easier and cheaper to ensure the proper upkeep of electric cabs.
Electric cabs don’t use gasoline and have zero emissions, so they don’t pollute and harm the environment like ICE cabs. This makes them an eco-friendly mode of transportation while helping cab fleet operators incorporate sustainability into their business values and operations.
It also impresses customers who lead green lifestyles, helping cab operators get more customers while improving profitability.
Improvement in Health and Well-Being
The zero emissions of electric cabs mean that they don’t release poisonous pollutants that cause serious respiratory illnesses and even death. This makes them safer for the health of cab owners, drivers, customers, and the public at large.
Smooth and Noise-Free Operation
Electric cabs run silently. This helps cab drivers combat noise pollution, which is especially important when they are dealing with noisy traffic.
Electric cabs also offer smooth rides which ensures a high level of comfort for drivers and customers.
It is easy to charge electric cabs as operators only have to plug in the onboard EV charger and can charge away at home or outdoors. There are tens of thousands of EV charging stations in key locations across the United States. Cab drivers can use these charging stations when they are on the move and ensure their cabs are always charged.
Nowadays, EVs also come with a quick charging feature. New battery models also allow cabs to become fully charged in only five minutes.
Here are the cons of adopting electric cabs in your fleet:
High Upfront Costs
Although the running and maintenance costs of electric cabs are low, buying them still requires a lot of capital. Their upfront costs are higher than gasoline-fueled cabs.
In November 2021, Kelley Blue Book reported that an EV costs $56,437 on average. This figure is around $10,000 more than the vehicle industry (including ICE cars and EVs) average of $46,329.
Fleet management and operations of electric taxi cabs slightly varies from how a fleet manager may approach ICE cabs. For example, electric taxis require energy management, scheduling departure times and planning to ensure your taxis are ready to go when you need them. A charging management software like Ampcontrol can help provide peace of mind that your electric taxis are charged and scheduled for on-time departure as you need. Utilizing a third-party charging management software helps you mitigate any cons of electric taxi cabs, while helping you achieve maximum profitability and cost savings.
How To Manage a Fleet of Electric Cabs
If you own or are planning to own an electric cab fleet, you must get EV management software to help you manage it better. This will help you monitor charging in real-time, reduce downtime and costs, and enjoy other benefits.
Fortunately, you don’t need to search far and wide when your infrastructure is configured with Ampcontrol’s solutions. The leading provider of cloud-based EV fleet charging management software helps you ensure efficient and reliable EV charging and energy management.
It offers real-time monitoring of charging activities, optimizes charging for lower charging costs, plans vehicle charging times, optimizes vehicle downtime, and ensures on-time departures. It also automatically coordinates EVs at fleet depots, reducing the need for manual tasks.
In case of hardware failures, the software also integrates backup power and intelligent fleet scheduling to ensure the business continuity of your fleet. Overall, its many tools and features help you scale operations and grow your transportation business.
Adopting electric taxi cabs is not without its challenges. There are concerns among fleet operators regarding the adoption of electric cabs due to their limited range and long charging times. But EV manufacturers and global governments have been working around these challenges to boost EV adoption, bringing hope to the EV sector.
The many benefits of electric cabs also make them popular among cab operators and their customers. New technologies and energy management software solutions like those offered by Ampcontrol are also helping shape the future of EV taxi services for the better. This makes electric cabs a viable and sustainable transportation mode.