Fun fact... Tesla Model T(axi)

Fun fact... Tesla Model T(axi)

Based on my research for the Tesla Model S comparison/equivalent car calculator I toyed with the idea of a Tesla "Model T" (pun intended) for taxis...

If a taxi driver driving about 100,000 km every year (~60,000 mi) in Toronto were to buy a Model S today with 85 kWh battery, dual chargers, high power wall connector and subzero weather package, and regularly for annual maintenance *AND* ranger service every 4 years, even a new batter every 8 years (based on today's cost of REPLACEMENT = NEW - OLD and 15% annual price reduction) then that driver would be better off with an I.C.E. car ONLY if that car was GIVEN to him/her together with another $19,000 cash (i.e. it has negative price).

If the car was to be kept and driven as a taxi for 7 years, instead of $19,000 cash s/he should be given $36,000. At 8 years that is $60,000 :)

Why would this be cool for everyone? Other than purely ecological effects, Tesla would sell more cars and would be able to make more infrastructure that would be good for everyone!

Keep in mind that real model T(axi) would be somewhat different than S - more space, less luxury, perhaps more sturdy, could have a room for more batteries. That said, it would really be cool if there could be a battery compatibility with model S as that could affect pricing and make the battery swap more realistic and common!

jkn | January 2, 2014

Model X might be an excellent taxi. Taxi station would need a supercharger. Charge while driver takes a break.

xanqan | January 2, 2014

Norway already has several model s as taxi

logicalthinker | January 2, 2014

+1, but could you show your math?
I know for me with my Volt, I save $170+ monthly which is over $2,000 annually or $10,000/5yrs, because I used to spend $200/mo on gas and now only spend $30/mo on electricity. So with a base price of $26,685 after the US Fed tax credit, the Volt is actually a great value proposition (though you have to deal with its horrible limitations like 10 mile added range/hour recharge & 40 mile electric range before gasoline usage... I'm NOT suggesting it'd make a great taxi.

tes-s | January 2, 2014

MS and MX would be great as taxis!!

When you do the calculations, consider:

1. No oil changes, less brakes. Those are big expense for Taxi ICE.

2. Supercharging at the Taxi depot. A supercharger would put taxis on the road 3 hours, and off the road for a half hour to charge 170 miles. That would be a dedicated 120kW charger for every 7 cars, so add about $25k per taxi, and 10% more taxis to have same amount of road hours due to differential in fueling time (higher for EV) and maintenance time (lower for EV).

Check on the tax credits available for EVs for commercial use - I'm not sure they are the same as available for consumers - but be should include whatever is available.

I see LOTS of Prius cabs in NY and DC. Would love to see some MS!

brandtlings | January 2, 2014

Talked to a NYC cab driver on the way to the airport this week. He says he averages 120 mi per day in the city and 160 if he has a lot of rides to the airports. Seems they my not need the superchargers. An 85kw and HPWC may do the job. Wonder how many Wh/mile they would use? Can't imagine they would need more than 85KW/day.

Mathew98 | January 2, 2014

MS already make sense for cabbies. There's a new SC in JFK airport (NYC) for a quick top off after dropping off passengers.

Fact: There are more taxis than passenger vehicles in Manhattan.

Fact: Most of the ICE taxis consumption is from idling in gridlock or traffic lights.

Fact: Most trips in cabs are less than 10 miles. Most of the fare comes from idling/slow traffic.

Fact: Most ICE cabbies spend $10,000+ a year on gasoline alone before maintenance.

Fact: Each NYC taxi medallion costs more than half a million to obtain. The purchase price of an S85 is only a fraction of the medallion. The gas and maintenance saving would add up very quickly.

If an the typical usage of a taxi cab is less than 150 miles a day, an S85 would be more than sufficient to serve as a taxi.

tes-s | January 2, 2014

Yes, 160 miles per shift is probably a better number than my guess. HPWC or even single charger would work for a cab that runs a single shift per day like owner operated - no need for superchargers. In the rare case they run out of juice, they just end their shift - probably a good day anyway.

Fleets would need to supercharge between shifts.

Captain_Zap | January 2, 2014

Just imagine how the noise would be reduced in places like NYC. That would be awesome.

jkn | January 2, 2014

I don't think Tesla taxi would need 10% time for charging. Charging can be done while driver takes a break. I hope, for safety, they have time for breaks. How long does it take to fill a gas tank in NY? Driving time included.

With supercharger same car can be used by two or three shifts.

MX will be very good taxi because of rear doors and space behind those doors.

DallasTXModelS | January 2, 2014

There is a taxi company in Dallas that uses all alternative fuel vehicles including Tesla Model S.

EmperorTytus | January 2, 2014

Any MS taxi drivers reading this... It would be interesting to know how many miles you have on your MS and how many miles it range charges to?

wavehopper27 | January 2, 2014

They could a have a few spare taxis sitting on the charger. If a driver starts running low, he can swap his with a fully charged one.

sule | January 2, 2014


I did take many details into account - perhaps too many :). Have a look at:

Tesla Comparison and Equivalent Car Calculator Taxi 160mi=260km per day.xlsx


Tesla Comparison and Equivalent Car Calculator Taxi 250mi=400km per day.xlsx

These are based for Toronto, Ontario but you can play with the sheet.

Superchargers are not needed if they do only that much - just charge overnight. Someone with a fleet could have a set of spare batteries, though and that swapping machine. Or they could have additional cars on stand-by :)

QtweetEV | January 2, 2014

I believe we will see more and more electric taxis. It's the perfect industry to fully take advantage of Tesla's technology. The province of Québec offers a 20,000$ Incentive for the purchase of Electric taxis (any make) plus pays 75% up to 5,000$ for charging infrastructure (not restricted to the taxi business ) to promote the electrification of transportation. There are a lot of other incentives in place. Makes a lot of sense if we want less pollution as a society.

DallasTXModelS | January 2, 2014


Claims to be 1st Eco Friendly Transportation in DFW
"Doing our part, 1 Ride At a Time"

tes-s | January 2, 2014

In NYC can't have spare cars - need medalions. Fleet would need superchargers to keep the cabs on the road.

Supercharger would be no big deal for a fleet company - charging at shift changes and on breaks.

Would love to see MS join the fleets!

AoneOne | January 2, 2014

Can you imagine how a NYC cabbie would drive with the power of a Model S? "Wheeee!" or "Whoa!"?

Mathew98 | January 2, 2014

Nope, they'll continue to drive like they're evading land mines in Iraq...

Same reckless driving as usual.

Tiebreaker | January 2, 2014

NYC taxis will need double-double strong suspension, although streets are not half as bad as they used to be years ago.

@Captain_Zap - to reduce noise, the cabbies will need hornectomy.