EV Taxis Common Sight in Amsterdam

By Paul Gipe

In the latter part of May 2018 we were in Amsterdam on vacation where I was surprised at the number of electric vehicles (EVs), especially taxis.

While not an everyday sight in Bakersfield, California where we live, EVs are fairly common. In Amsterdam, by contrast, they seem everywhere.

One company, Taxi Electric, alone operates a fleet 167 Tesla Model S, according to Fred Lambert at Electrek. (See Tesla taxi fleet in Amsterdam is being updated, dozens of used Model S vehicles going for sale.) Another writer has called Amsterdam the electric taxi capital of the world.

We saw Teslas, both Models S and Model X, both new and old Nissan LEAFs and Nissan’s e-NV200. The latter is a model not available in North America.

One reason for the abundance of EV taxis in Amsterdam may be the fact operators get a 5,000 € rebate for going electric. They may also get preferential parking at charge stations.

Beginning this year, one commentator noted that only EVs are permitted at Centraal Station, Leidseplein and Schiphol. I didn’t note that myself, but one taxi we caught at Centraal Station was Nissan’s new Leaf with the 40 kWh traction battery.

When we picked up a taxi at Centraal, it took some time before I realized it as electric. The car was quiet–typically a tip off of an EV–when I happened to look down at the shifter and saw the words “e-pedal” for Nissan’s version of one-pedal driving. Then it all made sense. The car was new, comfortable, and well outfitted for taxi use. It accommodated four of us and our luggage. The driver liked it and he liked that the bigger battery meant he didn’t need to stop and charge. His company has a fleet of Nissans he said.

I also saw a Chevy Volt, but most of the cars I noted were full electric.