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Europe: Germany’s First Electric Taxi (Interview)

Germany’s first EV taxi has been rolling around Munich for the last year — a Mitsubishi i-MiEV. Leased and operated by taxi company Isar-Funk, the little EV has been an experiment in balancing practicality with efficiency, and testing what it’s really like to spend the day in an electric car.
Isar-Funk’s CEO Christian Hess (51) spoke with Auto Bild about the experience of having the i-MiEV in the fleet and the stories Hess tells about having an electric car are in some ways surprising and in others exactly what one might expect:

Auto Bild: Tell the truth – how often did you end up with a customer in the car and zero battery power left?
Christian Hess: Well, once we had a customer who wanted to go to the airport from the inner city, which is about 36km (22 miles). The driver had to let them out halfway there at a taxi stand, because the batteries wouldn’t have made it.
AB: How did the passengers react [to the car]?
Hess: We saw a lot of acceptance over the year. Mostly the passengers were really excited to be in an electric taxi. But we did have to convince the drivers to actually drive it.
AB: Why were the drivers reluctant?
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