Volkswagen Milano, an electric taxi with an italian flavor

The electric taxi Volkswagen MilanoVolkswagen’s group head of design, Walter da Silva, is italian. Volkswagen’s head of marketing, Luca di Meo, is italian too. And there’s more, with Volkswagen’s giving an italian name to one concept. Volkswagen is still very much a german company, but there’s definitely an italian mood going around the Vaterland, and we appreciate it. The Milano concept is painted in the classic milanese taxi colors of green and black, but it was not made for an italian motorshow. It went to highlight the Volkswagen booth at the Hannover Fair, the much famous showcase of german engineering. The Milano is a brand new concept, but you may remember the space up! concept that was at the Tokyo motor show in 2007. It wasn’t much different. The difference is that the space up! was a microvan, a family car, whereas the Milano is business-oriented: it’s a taxicab.

The electric taxi Volkswagen MilanoBest of all, it’s electric. Zero emission, zero pollution for the crowded european large cities. A very small car, the Volkswagen Milano is about the same size as a Toyota Yaris hatchback, but feels very big inside, thanks to clever packaging. A 3 or 4 seater, driver in front, all passengers in the back. The driver sits alone, with the front passenger seat missing, its place being given to luggages. Behind them, the rear-right passenger can stretch his legs. You were not expecting that from a car that is barely 12-feet long.

The electric taxi Volkswagen MilanoThe batteries are under the floor, a 45-kWh pack of lithium-ion, with an advertised range of 185-miles. We guess it can only be done with smooth city driving, with lots of regeneration braking. But don’t expect to get this range on the highway. German chancellor Angela Merkel opened the Hannover Fair on monday, she sat in the car next to Claudio Scajola, Italy’s minister of economic development who was probably much surprised to find such an italian flavor in a german product…

The electric taxi Volkswagen Milano