Fortum Corporation and Oy Future Energy Finland Ltd
5 May 2009
First electric taxi to start service in Helsinki metropolitan area
Finland's first electric taxi will start service at the Helsinki-Vantaa airport
on 5 May 2009. The all-electric taxi will give passengers in the Helsinki
metropolitan area an opportunity to experience the benefits of an emissions-free
car of the future. Recharging the car with electricity produced from renewable
energy sources also lowers the car's life-time CO2-emissions close to zero.
In cooperation with Fortum, taxi driver Seppo Rosvall has already tested the
suitability of an all-electric vehicle in normal taxi service. Everything has
gone smoothly, so the decision to put the car into normal taxi service could be
made. The taxi will use Helsinki-Vantaa airport as its base and can run about
160 kilometres on a single charge.
”A taxi typically sits idle for surprisingly long periods of time between
customers. This makes it possible to recharge the electric car's batteries over
the course of the day without interrupting service. So the taxi can drive as
much as 300-500 kilometres a day; that's definitely sufficient for normal taxi
operations”, says taxi driver Seppo Rosvall.
An electric motor is up to three times more efficient than a traditional
combustion engine, so an electric car's emissions are considerably smaller. Also
the car's motor has virtually no sound. Electric cars are ideal in urban traffic
where distances are short and speeds are relatively low. So an electric engine
can replace a combustion engine in situations where the combustion engine is the
most harmful to the environment.
In 2008, Fortum launched a Nordic electric car project that is bringing
rechargeable cars and recharging posts to the streets in Espoo and Stockholm.
”Testing electric cars in taxi traffic is part of our project to prepare the
urban infrastructure for electric cars. According to a survey we commissioned,
the majority of Finns believe that driving electric vehicles can reduce
emissions and energy consumption and thereby mitigate climate change. A taxi
ride is a good way to see how an electric car works in everyday traffic”, notes
Carola Teir-Lehtinen, Corporate Vice President, Sustainability.
The term electric car refers to a plug-in hybrid or an all-electric vehicle that
is recharged directly from the grid. If an electric car is recharged with
electricity generated from renewable energy sources, driving doesn't cause any
carbon dioxide emissions. Fortum is currently developing a recharging network to
promote the wide-scale adoption of electric cars when car manufacturers
introduce rechargeable hybrids and all-electric vehicles to consumer markets
within the next few years.
Juha Matikainen, Fortum, tel. +358 50 455 7219
Fortum is a leading energy company focusing on the Nordic countries, Russia and
the Baltic Rim area. Activities cover the generation, distribution and sale of
electricity and heat and the operation and maintenance of power plants. Our
vision is to be the benchmark power and heat company excelling in
Seppo Rosvall is an experienced taxi driver from Vantaa, Finland, and the
Managing Director of Oy Future Energy Finland Ltd. His educational background is