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Girard, A., Roberts, C., Simon, F., & Ordonez, J. (2019). Solar electricity production and taxi electrical vehicle conversion in Chile. J. Clean Prod., 210, 1261–1269.
Abstract: Carbon emissions from the Chilean public transport sector have doubled between 2000 and 2013. Thus, the need to find alternative clean-air solutions is becoming increasingly critical. With this in mind, this paper addresses a solution to the aforementioned problem by studying the conversion of both taxis and “colectivos” (public taxis with defined routes) into electric vehicles (EV) to be used in the Chilean public transport sector. In Chile, 80% of taxis are Nissan V16s, meaning that all of these vehicles will be replaced and end up in landfills within the next 5-8 years. This study presents an option to give a second life to these vehicles, addressing environmental and financial issues. It compares emissions from the Nissan V16's conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) with an equivalent electric conversion prototype. Furthermore, it analyses the CO2 emissions from the EV that has been fully charged by the Chilean grid as well as one that has been charged by a solar photovoltaic system. A solar recharging station for EV taxis is designed, taking advantage of the high levels of solar radiation in Chile. The results show that EV conversion does not lead to real environmental benefits, in comparison to its ICE equivalent, when it is charged with the grid. However, the results also show a considerable decrease in cost and CO2 emissions per km travelled when using solar energy to charge the batteries. Future challenges include identifying solutions to cope with solar intermittence and minimizing CO2 emissions during periods of low radiation. (C) 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.