VOLKSWAGEN MILANO TAXI CONCEPT
The concept, finished in the traditional green and black of Milan taxis, is presented as a study into the viability of a mass-market, emission-free taxi, which is powered by an electric motor.
The motor, which is capable of generating a peak of 115hp, is fed through a lithium-ion battery under the vehicle with a storage capacity of 45 Kilowatt-hours. This, combined with a curb weight of 1500kg, allows the Milano Taxi concept to travel at speeds of up to 74mph and go for up to 186 miles between charges. In addition, the charging time of the lithium-ion batteries has been substantially reduced with over 80 per cent of its total capacity being reached in just over an hour.
Along with an innovative drivetrain, the Milano Taxi features clever packaging to make the vehicle as practical and friendly as possible for its occupants. Despite measuring just 12.2ft in length, 5.4ft wide and 5.2ft high, the Taxi concept is capable of carrying two passengers in comfort with a glass panel roof creating a bright and spacious environment.
The rear legroom rivals that of luxury saloons. Substantial space is also assigned on the front of the car to carry luggage, while entry to the vehicle is made easier through the integration of a large door that both swivels and slides forward.
Once aboard, the passengers can access an LCD display mounted on the reverse of the driver's seat to see an overview of the route being taken, pay the fare or change the climate functions in the back of the vehicle. The driver has a similar screen that can be personalized to show information relating to the vehicle, fare or navigation.
The Taxi debuts a simple, clean appearance that draws inspiration from the classic Samba Bus from the 1950s, as well as the current design language established by Walter de Silva (head of design, Volkswagen Group) and Klaus Bischoff, head of design, Volkswagen.
Intricate headlights featuring integrated LED running lights frame a hood that, through the absence of a grille, is able to sweep down into the front bumper and create a bold, simple appearance.
At the rear, the lights fit neatly into the window panel yet sit separately from a pair of 60:40 split doors. The Milano Taxi is presented as a concept as VW continues to work towards its strategy to launch its first electric vehicle in 2013.