Electric taxis are becoming more widespread in Helsinki. Sawing an electric taxi from the driver requires foresight. Taxi driver Timo Hietarinne is now sharing his experiences.
Fully electric taxis are still scarce, but the number is growing all the time. Uusimaa has a greater willingness to purchase electric taxis than the rest of the country.
One driver of a fully electric taxi is Taxi Helsinki Timo Hietarinne.
Hietarinne, who has been driving a taxi for 35 years, bought himself another taxi at the turn of the year. He had previously had a diesel-powered Volvo v90.
The electric taxi on Hietarinne will be the Hyundai Ioniq 5 of 2021. Hietarinne had not driven an electric car before the purchase.
“I wanted to try something new. In addition, another car will have to be replaced after a year. It is possible that the new car that will replace the other one will also be electric. Before the change, I want to have experience with a fully electric car, ”says Hietarinne.
We are conducting an interview at the Konala S-market recharging point in Helsinki. The car will charge while Hietarinne answers the questions.
If the Hyundai is charged to 80 percent of full capacity, the car can drive 250 to 300 kilometers, depending on the weather.
Day shift driving Hietarinne usually charges his car after the morning rush hour.
“At home, charging a car is slow. I rely on public charging points. There are a lot of recharging points in the metropolitan area and there is no need to plan a route. There are fewer charging points outside the perimeter third and you have to think about where the car will charge. If the customer is taken to a village, it is necessary to consider how to get out. ”
Challenges can also arise if the customer wants a longer ride.
“I was offered a Kela ride to Vaasa in the afternoon. There was not much power left in the car at that point and I therefore refused to drive. Instead, I drove to Imatra for a client. Before the trip, I asked him if it was appropriate for the car to be charged once during the trip. The charging was suitable for the customer, and I drank a roll of coffee with the customer during the charging, ”says Hietarinne.
According to Hietarinte, customers have not paid much attention to the fact that the trip is folded with an electric car.
February Towards the end, Hietarinne had driven a little less than 10,000 kilometers in a full-electric taxi. According to him, it is still too early to say whether switching to an electric car was financially worthwhile.
“There’s more to the line than when driving an internal combustion engine car. So far, there have been no surprises when driving an electric car, the car is pleasant to drive. ”
Fully electric taxis are still a rarity in Finland.
According to the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency, there were a total of 64 fully electric taxis in Finland in June 2021. There were 12,686 taxis on the register at the time. There were 42 electric taxis a year earlier.
“I would estimate that the number of electric taxis has increased quite a lot since last June. In the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, the number has been increased by a tender for the operation of taxi services at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, where one of the evaluation criteria was the number of electric cars, ”said a technical expert from the Taxi Association. Ville Jaakola says by email.
The airport has one and two taxi ranks in front of terminals with taxis in four different lanes. After Finavia’s competition, operators with cars in three lanes were selected. Other taxis operate in the fourth lane.
Taxi Helsinki is one of the operators whose cars are in the taxi rank of the airport.
“When competing for taxi lanes at the airport, Finavia required the operator to commit to a certain number of fully electric cars. By taxi in Helsinki, this meant about 32–35 fully electric cars. Finavia’s tender increased the number of fully electric cars, there are now about 50. Taxi Helsinki has a total of about 1,000 cars, ”says Taxi Helsinki’s CEO Jari Kantonen says.
The purchase of an electric taxi can also be encouraged after Finavia’s tender electric taxis have been given privileges in the queue for taxis at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport.
Electric taxis the number is likely to continue to increase, especially in Uusimaa. This is evident from a survey conducted by the Taxi Association for its members last November.
According to the survey, about 41 percent of taxi operators operating in Uusimaa say they are considering purchasing a fully electric car. Elsewhere in Finland, the corresponding figure is about 24 per cent.
“Many respondents stated in our survey that there are not enough charging points to purchase an electric taxi. Many also considered the price of electric cars to be too high, while others justified the consideration of the electric car, among other things, by the low cost of operation, ”says Jaakola of Taksiliitto.
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