By on April 19, 2010

Did you ever drive in Milano, Italy? Take my advice: Don’t. Park your car, take a taxi. That must have gone through the minds of the boys in Wolfsburg, when they were searching for a name for their dedicated taxi prototype. “Mamma mia! Let’s call it Milano!”

An so it came that today, the Milano Taxi, a study of a mass-market taxi powered by an electric motor, made its world debut at the Hannover Messe.

The Milano Taxi is powered by an electric motor with a peak output of 85 kW; energy is supplied from a lithium ion battery integrated in the underbody, giving it a whopping range of up to 300 kilometers, says VeeDub in a press release. That’s three times the back&forth distance from downtown Milan to the Malpensa airport, of which some people claim, it’s in another country.

Serendipity at work: Today, Martin Winterkorn could show the appropriately green taxi to his Chancellor, Angela Merkel. She could have used the thing. The Icelandic volcano ashes disrupted her flight back from the USA to Berlin. They could fly as far as Rome, Italy. Then, the ashes grounded her plane. From Rome, she had to be driven all the way to Berlin, 1700 kilometers – the Milano could have done that with just 6 charges.

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11 Comments on “Taxi! Volkswagen Electrifies Milan...”


  • avatar
    1996MEdition

    “You want me stick it where?”

    • 0 avatar
      vento97

      If it ain’t like we does it in America, it must be commie.

      Well put.

      I laugh at these “reactionaries” who parrot the words “commie” and “socialist” without any freaking clue of what they are talking about – much less having an understanding of what communism and socialism entail (origins, ideologies, etc.).

      All of which goes to show:

      “A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.” – Agent “K” from the movie Men in Black

  • avatar
    VanillaDude

    How much inconvenience are we willing to endure in an electric car world? How much expense? How much more power plant pollution?

    An electric car fits this culture. I know Germany because I went to school there. They have been told over the past twenty years not to breath, pee or poop. They have to sort through every piece of garbage and every empty container into legally enforced recyclable systems. They go through their neighbor’s trash to make sure no one else is slacking off from these intrusive mandates. If you put the wrong trash into the wrong bins, you are heckled and put on notice until your neighboring snitches are sure you can be trusted. You carry sacks, (reusable, of cource), of empty containers to the market, stand in line, and place each glass container through the deposit refund machine. Every market in Germany has warehouse areas filled with trash, waiting for pickup. From there, this trash goes into a recycling system so overwhelmed, the recycled garbage is warehoused in Poland, and The Netherlands, for years. So an electric car fits this culture.

    After their country’s military history during the 20th Century, and the Holocaust, the Germans have made doing national pentances for their existance, and paying billions to Jewish survivors, a national creed. This is a country that publically hangs their heads, and privately vows revenge over their hobblings and neuterings in washroom graffiti and whispered conversations. So, an electric car fits this culture.

    The only time I drove while living there was on weekends or special trips. The furthest I drove is three hours to Berlin, which was across the entire width of Germany, which is the size of Montana. So an electric car fits this culture.

    But it is a culture that is forced by governmental acts, not given choices. Squatting over a platform toilet allows you to read all the daily frustrations Germans feel privately thanks to the stall graffiti, as well as remind you why American toilets are filled with water, (Germans ration every drop of water, too). German is a culture that has historically suspended personal liberties for national purposes and thinking about what is good for you hits the wall when reminded that you are selfish to consider yourself over the group. So an electric car fits this culture.

    It is a culture that shows us why personal liberties are something that shouldn’t be taken for granted, that governmental policies can strip you of your choices without really solving the problems, that with every broad mandate there are several undesirable consequences, and that America is a crazy, chaotic, bold, ridiculous and wonderful place to live. When a country strives for no surprises and a safe, whiffle-ball world, it isn’t much fun when the beer stops flowing.

    • 0 avatar
      porschespeed

      European culture on the whole is far more amenable to being ruled. It’s been part of the history for thousands of years (varies greatly by neighborhood).

      There are benefits to social arrangements such as in Germany. You and I may not like the trade-offs, but apparently the majority of Germans still accept them. If they choose it, it works for them, and does us no harm, then it’s really none of our concern.

      Beyond that, it terms of real politik, it leaves more for us. How is that a problem?

      Beyond that, if we’re talking about governments trampling their Constitutions and rights of their citizens, perhaps you were out of the country when W. was in office. (And no, O ain’t doing any better).

    • 0 avatar
      srogers

      Here we have a textbook example of ethnocentrism.

      If it ain’t like we does it in America, it must be commie.

  • avatar

    Wow. Electric cars, military history, holocaust, garbage separation, not to forget toilet graffiti, and how that serves them Germans right, all in one comment…

    • 0 avatar

      Oh, for crying out loud. Germany is a free country. People here can drive as fast as they like. They can drink beer in public where ever they like, a fact which has surprised many a visitor I have had from the U.S. In terms of protecting privacy, Germany is ahead of the U.S., at least according to Privacy International. Citing smug little anecdotes about toilets is a quick way to make oneself look really foolish.

    • 0 avatar
      porschespeed

      C’mon Martin,

      Even the cretins know the Autobahnen is regulated, save for certain stretches. ‘Everywhere’ is beyond ludicrous and you know it. Spare us the hyperbole.

      One can also ‘drink in public’ in many US locales, at least until you get way out of hand. So effen what?

  • avatar
    Russycle

    I believe Milan was the first place I saw a Smart car. Made sense there, I had no desire to drive, and if I did, there wasn’t any place to park. I could pretty much get around fine on foot…except to the airport. It’s practically in another time zone.

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      Man driving in Milan AIN’T NOTHING compared to living and driving in Naples. Did that for three years. Had fun and it was a crazy place. Glad I was single and not worrying about a wife and our kids getting run over there. Note that this was prior to the Internet and GPS. Yeah, we got lost alot. Maps work if your passenger can keep up. Like any city it was challenge to find where the car was parked at the end of the day. So many little tight streets.

  • avatar
    Rusted Source

    I hope she doesn’t get her microphone confused with the busy end of that extension cord.

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