With urban roads getting congested, it’s always better to hire a cab instead of driving your own ride and getting stuck in the endless queue of cars. Hiring a cab leaves you with the option of discontinuing the journey and finding another cab at a distance. This is the reason we see designers coming up with next-gen taxi concepts that are powered by greener sources of fuel. Check out a list of 10 such brilliant concepts, which could well be on the streets sooner than you think.
Designed by Alberto Villarreal, the MX-LIBRIS is a unique concept car that will serve as a taxi in the congested lanes of Latin American cities. The vehicle comes with solar panels on its roof, which provide electricity to the batteries on which the vehicle runs. As a backup, the vehicle is also fitted with a fuel cell platform that ensures a zero emission drive in any conditions. The roof has been designed with a raised border that collects rainwater for the cooling system of the vehicle.
The Eco Taxi by Studio Slava Saakyan is a project to create a zero-emission all-electric taxi that can reduce pollution in the atmosphere, making cities more healthy and pleasant. The Eco Taxi can also be used as a shuttle bus, school van, delivery van or a distribution van as well.
The UniCab is an all-electric concept vehicle that includes advanced capacitor energy distribution and sources power from solar panels on the roof, brake energy conversion, hydrogen fuel cells and speedy plug-in charge. The UniCab doesn’t look similar to a conventional taxi, but features seating for six passengers, an automated ramp for those with disabilities, an infotainment center which displays the route and attractions along with way.
Designed by Igor Vishnevskiy, the Rikscha is designed to ferry passengers comfortably across a city without emitting any harmful gases. Unlike an Asian rickshaw in which passengers are transported by human carriers, the Rikscha utilizes a pair of electric motors that power the front set of wheels. The passengers are made to sit comfortably in an enclosed cabin toward the rear of the vehicle, whereas the front cabin is for the driver.
Designed by SolarLab, the SolarCab is basically a solar-powered rickshaw that is designed to draw over 80% of its power from the electricity generated by the solar panels covering its outer shell. Developers claim that the SolarCab can reduce CO2 emissions as much as two tons per rickshaw in London alone.
The VETP URBANO by car designer Rober Digiorge is an ideal vehicle to transport passengers over short distances in large populated areas. Powered by a 3000W brushless motor, the car will reach a top speed of 80kph and offer a driving range of over 150km on a full charge. The onboard batteries can be recharged in 6 hours using a conventional wall outlet.
London’s Fuel Cell Black Cabs
The Fuel Cell black cab is expected to be on the roads of London by 2012. The vehicle is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell system that offers it a range of 250 miles and a top speed of 80mph. Moreover, the vehicle can be refueled with a fresh stock of hydrogen in just five minutes.
The Robotic Taxi by designer Kubik Petr has been designed for gigantic cities to transport a maximum of two passengers with ordinary hand-held baggage. The taxi is composed of two main parts – an undercarriage and a cabin. The car is driven by two electric motors which are integrated into the rear wheels. Whenever a person needs a ride, he or she will have to call the Robotic Taxi operator who will then scan the system for the nearest taxi, which is then ordered to reach your location. The user can this set his or her destination by using the touch panel, which the taxi would be equipped with.
The Volkswagen Taxi was unveiled at the Hanover Trade Show as a concept for the city of Milan. The van-sized cab is powered by lithium-ion batteries that provide an estimated range of 186 miles. The vehicle features a single rear door on the passenger side which can slide completely to make enough space for getting in and out.
The ATNMBL Autonomous Taxi by designers at Mike and Maaike is for passengers of the future who will need the comfort of a living room in a taxi as well. The vehicle will generate power from roof-mounted solar panels, which will then fuel the car’s electric motors. With no engine, no steering wheel and no driving controls, the passenger-oriented vehicle will feature modular seating, including a couch, side chair and a low table, which can be arranged in any way the owner or the passenger likes.