If you want to take a taxi in Tokyo, you now have an electric option. At least if you are in the Otemachi, Marunouchi or Yurakucho districts between the daytime hours of 8:30 and 5:30. The Hinomaru Limosine Company is adding a pair of Mitsubishi i MiEVs to its fleet, making it the first in Japan's capitol to offer an electric vehicle for hire. The fare will be the same 710 yen ($7.85 at today's rate) for the first two kilometers (1.24 miles) as the company's other taxis, though they will principally be driven by women able to provide their customers with local area and tourist information. They will also feature a pleasant aromatic oil to help you relax. No, really.
While they may be the first in Tokyo, they will not be the last. Although not on the road yet, another company and Better Place have been working since January to prepare cars and a battery-swapping station for a similar scheme. The ZeRO TAXI service, in the meantime, will be officially launched this Thursday with a ceremony at the Mitsubishi building in Marunouchi followed by some complimentary drives for the attending media.
[Source: Hinomaru Limosine Company via Green Car Congress]