By David Ponce
This is the sort of innovation that might actually make me feel like taking a cab again. Just for kicks.
Ecolo21 Co., Ltd, a Japanese company, started offering its clients last April the option to charge their cellphones through the electricity generated by a wind turbine installed on the roof. The initiative is intended to promote the use of clean energy in the context of the Kyoto Protocol.
The taxi’s rooftop wind turbine has a built-in generator so that wind energy is converted to electricity. The electricity is stored in the car’s battery and then sent to a cigarette lighter socket. By connecting a charger to the socket, passengers can charge their cell phones.
The company installed this system in one of its taxis, and it is planning to install an improved version in its remaining 19 taxis by the autumn of 2005.