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ElectriCab Technologies Electric Taxi Achieves 907 Miles Driving Range in One Day

Company Announces “Level 5” Initiative

Sacramento, CA, USA (MMD Newswire)  December 11, 2010 -- ElectriCab Technologies announces that its electric taxi achieved 907 miles of real-world electric driving range in a 24-hour period.

The driving test, conducted on July 17th, 2010, demonstrated the powerful combination of extended range per charge, high-current rapid charging, thermal management, control systems, and low cost of ownership in an electric-only platform designed for the transportation industry.

“We measure impact by total daily miles driven,” states Robert Kittell, P.E., a licensed professional engineer and Chairman of ElectriCab Technologies.  “Our recent electric taxi road testing results came in at the very high end of our expectations.  It was a flawless integration of driving, engineering, and rapid charging, all executed by a single driver without the benefit of a stunt-related support crew.”

ElectriCab’s electrified conversion of a popular minivan has served as its development prototype since 2002, and has seen major upgrades to motor, controller, and batteries.  Capable of freeway speeds, and recently upgraded with a re-engineered drive train, the electric taxi provides a one-of-a-kind customer experience, powerfully packaged in a zero-emission platform.

In December of 2009, the ElectriCab taxi was driven 428 miles in a single day, in the worst winter weather Northern California has to offer.  This time, the conditions were at the other end of the spectrum.

“During this 24-hour test period, where ambient temperatures reached 103 degrees F, the thermal stability of our battery pack was remarkably consistent.  This is the cornerstone to maximizing daily driving range and cycle life, and reducing the cost of ownership of operating an electric vehicle.”

During the 24-hour, 907-mile road test, the longest range delivered on a single charge was 164 miles, with 6 other tours in the 120-140 mile range.  Driving efficiency varied between 400 and 500 W-hrs per mile, depending on traffic conditions, terrain, and speed.  Two of the trips were directed into the Sierra Nevada foothills (I-80 & US-50), and traversed elevations in excess of 2,000 ft.  Six one-hour rapid charges (65kW @ 330Amps) were performed during the 24 hour period.  All results have been certified.

“At ElectriCab, there is no ‘Range Anxiety.’”

Superior Performance and Compelling Economics

According to Kittell, “900-mile daily driving performance is certainly not possible with Level-1 (110 volt) or Level-2 (220 volt) charging infrastructure.  At Level-1 power it takes 2 ½ days to fully charge our electric taxi.  Even when Level-2 charging is available in the outlying areas, it has taken us several days to complete electric driving tours in the 400-500 mile range.  That is an incredibly awful experience.  I could do better on a bicycle.”

Kittell continues, “The extended battery-only driving range per charge enables us to routinely blow past the charge stations in Vacaville, CA on the way to Silicon Valley.  Contrast this to the Mitsubishi iMiev, which generated a lot of favorable publicity in ‘Popular Mechanics’ for rapid charging in Vacaville - between San Francisco and Sacramento.  There is no choice for the iMiev but to stop and re-charge there.  50 miles driving range doesn’t cut it for the everyday driver.”  Kittell further states, “EVs designed for the 40-mile daily commuter offer a point solution for the image-conscious enthusiast, whereas extended battery-only driving range offers a ‘solution space’ for the mainstream market.  Alternatively, extended range offered by an on-board internal combustion engine illustrates the irrelevance of an orange power cord.  There are a lot of good little 40 mpg cars out there; why burden them with a breadbox full of laptop batteries, a plug, and a massive sticker price?”

Battery switching has also received a lot of attention in recent years.  “If you’re a software guy, or new to the EV industry, it may make a lot of sense.  However, from a practical perspective, it’s a different story.  For example, the battery switching demonstration in Tokyo utilized electric taxis with 50 miles driving range.  According to the sponsor’s own published data, they averaged 12 miles between battery switches.  Was it a battery switching demonstration, or an EV taxi demonstration?  It certainly wasn’t both.”

“Battery switching has the appearance of an 1890’s solution to a 1990’s problem,” states Kittell, who has recently authored an expert report on EV fleet charging infrastructure.  “There is stochastic waste inherent with that type of solution.  The battery switching model accepts constraints that have been obliterated by the true innovators in this industry.”

ElectriCab is working on solutions that will achieve up to 300 miles range from a filling-station experience, delivering in excess of 1,000 battery charge cycles at extremely high currents.   Kittell states, “When properly engineered, the combination of rapid charging with extended cycle life is unbeatable from a total cost and convenience perspective.  The infrastructure, overhead and obsolescence costs associated with battery switching are many times higher than that of rapid charging.  One Transportation Authority just spent $20M (including matching funds) for 61 electric taxis and four battery switching stations… about $300k per vehicle.  Even for a pilot program, the price tag is unfathomable.”  

Kittell further states, “From a life cycle costing perspective, electric sports cars with laptop lithium battery packs exhibit no value innovation.  Variable costs, including electricity plus battery pack amortization, far exceed fuel costs for a light duty internal combustion vehicle.  The differentiators in this space that will precipitate significant market penetration will be based on sustainable economics… not hype, dreams or image.”    

Level-5 Initiative

“Back in 2002, ElectriCab’s rapid charging target was one hour.  We have since built and tested a wide spectrum of battery modules that charge in as little as 6 to 20 minutes, at currents up to 750 amps,” states Kittell.  “The results have been extraordinary.”  The company has recently completed its Level-4 initiative (>700 Amps), and is pursuing its Level-5 solution.  “300 miles in 6 minutes with 1,000 battery charge cycles.  You do the math… 25-times higher current than the Nissan Leaf Level-3 charge, and 80-times higher current than the Tesla Roadster Level-2 charge.  It tells you how far off de facto charging solutions are from delivering a mainstream driving experience.”

Kittell continues, “With EVs, the owner basically pays a premium for range.  ElectriCab’s Level-5 solution is scalable to platforms yielding 100-miles, 200-miles and up to 300-miles per charge.  If a car buyer doesn’t want 300 miles range, he or she should have the option to purchase a lower-end solution.  However, those demanding 300 miles range shouldn’t be constrained out of the market.”

“I come from a world dealing in tens of Megawatts and thousands of Amps,” states Kittell, referring to his engineering background in heavy industrial development and collaboration with various utilities.  “There is a lot of FUD out there (‘Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt’) with respect to EV charging infrastructure.  We are here to eliminate the FUD and create significant market opportunities for the visionaries that embrace us.”

ElectriCab Technologies Unveils 700-mile-per-day Electric Taxi Solution

Sacramento, CA, USA (MMD Newswire)  December 31, 2009 -- ElectriCab Technologies is an award-winning California corporation with a clear mission: to deliver a sustainable, zero-emission solution to the taxi industry. The solution is based on full-sized vehicles, extended range batteries, rapid charging infrastructure, and dramatically reduced cost of ownership. To contrast with other recent headlines:

-This is not a low-speed hyper-miling stunt, nor is it a month-long cross-country tour constrained by overnight charging and 2-3 hours per day on the freeway.

-Nor is this a story about “convenient household outlets” posing as charging infrastructure for 40-mile Plug-in-Hybrid commuters.

-It isn’t about street-legal golf carts, or electric “taxis” in name only that charge overnight, quit after a few miles and require never-ending flatbed assistance.

-Nor is it about sophisticated battery swapping robots or unproven business models courting a tremendously difficult marketplace.

This is a mainstream solution to electrify the taxi industry, seven years in the making, delivered by a company with a single focus.

ElectriCab’s electrified conversion of a popular minivan has served as its development prototype since 2002, and has seen major upgrades to motor, controller, and of course, batteries. Capable of freeway speeds and laying 30 feet of rubber, the electric taxi provides a one-of-a-kind customer experience, powerfully packaged in a zero-emission platform.

“We engineer our own battery packs,” states Robert Kittell, P.E., a licensed professional engineer and Chairman of ElectriCab. “Beginning at the cell level, our designs are optimized around safety, thermal management, life cycle costing and total daily range. These are the cornerstones of our solution for the taxi industry. Plus, our Design-for-Disassembly approach further enhances our environmental impact by promoting the re-use of key battery module components.”

With 65kW-hrs of energy on board and an off-board rapid charger, the modified vehicle has been designed to deliver 700-800 miles in total daily range. Real world driving has achieved as much as 142 miles on a single charge, along with multiple rapid charge cycles per day. An ElectriCab driver has already logged 428 miles in one day during the worst December weather Northern California has to offer. The company will be scheduling a sanctioned event to officially demonstrate 700 miles in total daily range in early 2010.

428 Miles in one day - Northern California

ElectriCab has continually validated its taxi solution in the marketplace, having placed its first full-sized electric taxi in service in 2003. Calibrated, inspected & insured, ElectriCab is able to offer the lowest rates in the city of Sacramento. “Our energy costs are 40% lower than a gasoline version of the same vehicle… and this includes battery pack replacement provisions. We are in a position to pass these savings on to the consumer.” As a gesture to community, ElectriCab will be providing free service to the Sacramento market through the Holiday season.

ElectriCab’s plans for 2010 include construction of new production prototypes for an electric town car and foreign-market electric taxi, a Level 4 charging station (700 amps), and a high voltage version of their converted minivan.

“We are very excited at our prospects of delivering these four initiatives, plus expanding our service into several key markets in 2010. 20-minute recharging is our next target, as is 1,000 miles total daily range.”

2010 New Year's Eve Demonstration & Free Electric Taxi Service, Hilton Hotel, Sacramento, CA Dec. 31, 2009

2010 New Year's Eve Demonstration & Free Electric Taxi Service

2009 Electric Taxi Airport Demonstration, Norman A. Mineta International Airport, San Jose, CA  Dec. 22, 2009


2009 ZEV Symposium Workshop, Cal/EPA Headquarters, Sept. 21-22, 2009 Electric Taxi Demonstration & Free Transportation

2009 ZEV Symposium Workshop, Cal/EPA Headquarters

2009 Kitsap County, WA, Electric Taxi Demonstration, June 10, 2009

2009 Kitsap County, WA, Electric Taxi Demonstration

2004 EPA National Ombudsman Conference

ElectriCab director Robert Kittell, P.E.,  delivered the following address as invited speaker and Small Business panel member:

"Private Sector Environmental Stewardship and Economic Prosperity"


"Our mission at the ElectriCab Company is to deliver world class fare-based urban transportation that is clearly distinguished by the use of zero-emission vehicles.  Our mission is to do so profitably as an on-going enterprise, and to incubate and dominate a new kind of transportation marketplace.

"I am not here to applaud our polluters for not polluting as much this year as they did last, or to give credit-for-effort to demonstration programs or e-mail campaigns that will fade away and be forgotten.  I am not here to dream about technologies-of-tomorrow or bridges-to-the-future.  I am here to talk about impact, about clean air solutions for today, about zero emission transportation.  I am here to talk about environmental stewardship and economic prosperity.  I am here to talk turkey about financing, and processes to enable the true innovators of our society, small business, to deliver environmental solutions at a time and place where they are desperately needed."

2003 Pollution Preventions Award 

ElectriCab is the proud recipient of the 2003 "Pollution Prevention Award" from the Sacramento County Business Environmental Resource Center (BERC).  Based on the company's "outstanding pollution prevention efforts," ElectriCab was honored by the following Federal, State, County and City organizations: 

  • United States Senate, Senator Barbara Boxer 
  • California State Assembly, Darrell Steinberg 
  • California State Senate, Deborah Ortiz 
  • Sacramento County Board of Supervisors, Illa Collin 
  • Sacramento City Council, Mayor Heather Fargo 

ElectriCab director, Robert Kittell, P.E., accepts 2003 PPA award