SWEDEN There are currently around ten taxicabs in Stockholm that run on electricity. As companies are prioritising electric cars when ordering taxis, those behind Nollzon would like there to be many more."Affiliating with Nollzon is one of the simplest sustainability initiatives a company can take," says Annika Ramsköld, Head of Sustainability at Vattenfall, one of the companies behind the initiative.

More and more companies are joining Nollzon, a non-profit association that wants to increase the availability of electrically-powered taxi services. The idea originally came from Vattenfall, and is based on companies registering their address on Nollzon's website. Subsequently, all orders for taxis to that address are given electric car priority. Demand for electric taxis is currently much greater than supply, so there is no guarantee that an electric taxi will be available for every order.

"What is most important now is to demonstrate to the taxi companies what demand there is. And the fact is that today electric taxis already have precedence over other cars for trips to the companies that are involved. If tens of thousands of employees automatically prioritise electric cars when ordering a taxi, the taxi companies will purchase more electric cars and the electricity utilities will build more fast charging stations," says Roland Elander, Head of Business Development at Sustainable Innovation, which is coordinating the initiative.

Demand already increasing
During the period that Nollzon has been in existence, companies with a total workforce of 14,000 employees have joined up, and more large companies are in the process of joining. At Taxi Stockholm, they are already noting that demand has increased.
  "Nine electric cars are currently in service, and we are planning to buy many more," says Belan Bahram, electric car expert at Taxi Stockholm.

Road traffic currently accounts for almost one third of Sweden's overall climate emissions and 60% of all fossil fuel use. At the same time, taxis are one of the modes of transport that can be profitably operated using electricity.
  "Electric cars are ideal as taxis that operate in cities such as Stockholm. They often drive short distances and with an effective charging infrastructure they can be easily charged between trips if necessary. The range is no problem. Furthermore, taxis drive a lot of miles every day, which means that the low cost per mile for electric power balances the higher investment cost," says Annika Ramsköld.


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