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The Wind-Turbine Cellphone-Charging Taxicab

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.

That’s really all there is by way of details. Check out the “press release. Story VIA TechieDiva.







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  • Jordan

    Wouldn’t the drag created by the turbine waste more gas than the value of the amount of electricity created? It’s a novel idea, but it doesn’t seem very efficient.

  • LD

    Why not just use the damn battery on board? I agree that the drag created would use more energy than if they simply plugged into the already available power onboard.

    It’s like sticking a wind generator on a diesel generator…what’s the point?

  • John D

    Duh. The fact it is mounted on the car increases wind resistance which means more petrol is used which means the atmosphere gets more pollutants and the oil refinery uses more energy to produce the wasted petrol which means the power stations burn more coal, which means more CO2 goes into the atmosphere etc etc.

  • William Tanksley

    You guys should be expecting the inefficiency; read the cited purpose: “The initiative is intended to promote the use of clean energy in the context of the Kyoto Protocol.”

    In that context, it’s all about looking good by doing SOMETHING, no matter how ineffective.