Press release

First electric taxi to start service in Helsinki metropolitan area

05 May 2009, 10:00 EEST

Fortum Corporation and Oy Future Energy Finland Ltd
Press release
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. Fortum Corporation Corporate Communications Additional information: 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 sustainability. Seppo Rosvall is an experienced taxi driver from Vantaa, Finland, and the Managing Director of Oy Future Energy Finland Ltd. His educational background is in chemistry.