Mexico’s Leaf Taxi Pilot Program Well Received
About 70 taxi drivers in México have been driving fully electric Nissan Leafs for more than a year now as part of a pilot program launched in 2011.
The project’s objective is to showcase the car’s technology while building experience and evidence of the Nissan Leaf potential under various driving conditions in Mexico.
“The car is extremely easy to drive, a completely automatic car with no shifting of gears. The steering is very soft with no problem whatsoever. The mirrors are functional. The seats are very comfortable. It is a new car,” said Mexico City taxi driver Cristóbal Reynoso, about the Leaf.
There are 20 Nissan Leaf taxis in central Mexico City and another 50 in the Mexican state of Aguascalientes.
Charging infrastructures are also growing to support operations of EV mobility in both locations – including the first public electric vehicle quick-charging station in Latin America that was celebrated late last year.
“The reaction is 100 percent positive, once again, because it is a new car, and there are only 20 Nissan Leafs in Mexico City, a big difference. People ask you why is it so different compared to other cars? How do you charge it up? How many hours can you drive? How fast is it? How were you chosen to drive it? All these questions are very pleasant for me, so it is very fun,” said Reynoso.
The Leaf taxis are part of a program called Zero Emissions Taxis. Nissan said the 70 electric taxis have prevented about three tons of CO2 emissions from going into the atmosphere. That’s about how much would be released from that number of conventional gas cars.
“I think the Mexican people have very good acceptance with the Leaf. I mean they are very proactive with electric cars, with green cars. They are very proud to be part of this kind of initiative here in Mexico,” said Alejandro Viveros, leader of the Zero-Emission Business Unit for Nissan Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean.
Nissan’s mid-term strategic global plan, known as Nissan Power 88 includes the objective of driving leadership in electric vehicles. This reflects the long-term perspective of the company, which plans to launch three new electric vehicles, besides the Nissan Leaf, including a light commercial vehicle, a premium Infiniti car and a new model for the entry-level segment.