Cluj-Napoca, the second largest city in Romania, just announced a plan to require all new Taxi Licenses to be for electric taxi’s. The plan does not affect the current taxi licenses in Cluj, but new Taxi licenses that are planned to be granted during 2020.
Currently there are 2469 taxi authorizations valid in Cluj-Napoca. (In Romania, hyphenated city names are common and “Cluj” and “Cluj-Napoca” are interchangeable names for the same place) On December 31, 2019 the current authorizations will expire, but will be rolled over to new authorizations for another five years. At the same time the city plans to offer 31 new Taxi authorizations bringing the total to 2,500.
According to the Transylvania Reporter – from this day forward all new taxi licenses granted in Cluj will be only for electric taxi’s. This plan covers the 31 new licenses to be granted in 2020. Afterwards for any taxi license that is withdrawn will be replaced with a license for an electric taxi.
Currently the typical taxi in Romania is an old Dacia Logan. Many Romanians are leery of riding in a regular taxi because of this.
A few years ago a French guy moved to Romania with a plan to develop EV conversions of Dacia Logan’s to make them available as taxi’s. I believe he’s still in business, but it appears this plan does not name any specific vehicle to be used for the electric taxi service.
One wonders what electric cars will be put to use as electric taxi’s in Cluj. The obvious candidate is one of the Tesla cars, but there are other possibilities now that other manufacturers are selling long-range electric cars. The plan published by the Mayor of Cluj is available, and according to the Transylvania Reporter posting a public comment period is open until early September.
UPDATE: A video was posted recently discussing the converted Dacia Logan’s mentioned earlier. The originator of that project, Marc Areny, still lives in Pitești, Romania, and runs a company named EVShop. They sell kits for converting old Dacia Logan’s to electric, the current kit offers an 80 kW motor and a 35 kiloWatt-hour battery pack.
What follows is the video. While the discussion is in Romanian, I understand enough to say that they’re saying typical things about electric cars – range, speed, charging, usefulness, etc. According to a companion blog post, the kit plus a used Logan is cheaper than buying a new gasoline powered Logan.
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