Barcelona is set to become the “first city in the world” to roll-out an electric taxi fleet.
Cabbies in the Catalan city will be driving the e-NV200 (pictured), which was unveiled by Nissan at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show and presented to the mayor Xavier Trias.
The taxi is based on Nissan’s NV200 van but uses the electric drivetrain from the better-known Leaf. Production will begin in 2014 at a plant in Barcelona’s Zona Franca. The manufacturer is investing €100 million (£84 million) in the plant and says it will provide 700 jobs.
As part of the agreement Nissan will help deploy charging stations across the city and provide its CHAdeMO quick chargers, which it claims can refill batteries from 0-80% in just 30 minutes.
Specific electric taxi stops and a preferential queuing system at airports and railways stations are being considered by Barcelona to spur on the rollout.
The city will also encourage the use of EVs for goods delivery and may introduce exclusive delivery times and areas for zero emission vehicles, as well as tax cuts for businesses using EV fleets.
The Mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias said: “We want to put the talent, creativity and innovation of Barcelona to support the new sustainability sectors. This pioneering scheme and the technology developed for it and other sustainability projects like it will improve the welfare of the people of the city and create further employment opportunities.”