Counting-Down Taxi Meter Shows How Much Money Could Be Saved On Fuel

Counting-Down Taxi Meter Shows How Much Money Could Be Saved On Fuel

European auto manufacturer uses the real life situation to demo its new break energy recovery system.

Alan Khanukaev
  • 10 april 2013

Spanish automaker and subsidiary of Volkswagen group, SEAT, is promoting its new energy conservation technology by offering the people of Dusseldorf discounted rides in a cab that rolls back the total fare owed every time the driver steps on the brake.

According to the US Department of Energy, only 14%-26% of the energy created from the fuel in your car is actually used to move it; the rest of the energy is lost to a variety of inefficiencies. While most of the energy, approximately 60%, is lost primarily as heat in the engine, an additional 5%-7% of the energy is lost while braking. That energy which was initially used to propel the car forward ends up being converted into heat and friction and is essentially wasted every time you brake. While that might not seem like a lot, it adds up to a pretty significant loss of fuel over the life of a car.

Unlike other areas of loss like idling or powering accessories which can be mitigated to a degree, there was, traditionally, nothing you can do about the energy lost in braking. Until, that is, the advent of regenerative braking systems. Brands like Honda and Toyota both employ the technology in some of their models, but neither brand promoted it in quite such a compelling and personal way.

‘The SEAT Taxi Fare’ is an experiential marketing initiative for SEAT’s ‘Break Energy Recovery system’. Similar to other systems, it collects the energy normally wasted when breaking and then repurposes to aid in acceleration thereby saving on fuel consumption.

SEAT Deutschland recently presented this key feature of its ‘Ecomotive’ line of cars on the streets of Dusseldorf. Rather than engaging in a riveting discussion about the intricacies of converting kinetic energy into potential energy, SEAT demonstrated the technology in a much more persuasive way; they illustrated, in real time, exactly how the regenerative braking system affects peoples wallets. Converting one of its Alhambra minivans into a cab, SEAT attached the Break Energy Recovery System to a taxi meter that counted down the fare each time the cab reclaimed energy through braking.

Outfitted with cameras, the taxi went out to pick up unsuspecting passengers who reacted in confusion as they watched, what they perceived to be, a malfunctioning meter roll back every time the car slowed.

This energy saving innovation is not an unusual direction for the automaker. Since the 1990’s the company has been developing and experimenting with various electric and hybrid vehicles. And in 2009 it was lauded for installing solar panels on the roof its main facility in Martorell, Spain which now supplies 56% of its own power. In fact, this trend extends up the corporate chain to SEAT’s parent company, Volkswagen, whose German operations supply 62% of their own power.

Often associated with youthful exuberance, SEAT identifies itself both with its German and Spanish heritage, specifically connecting with traditional cultural archetypes of passion and perfectionism. The foundation of their organization is a concept they refer to as ‘Enjoyneering,’ in essence combining emotion and technology. This fusion is something that’s illustrated extremely well in this initiative which presented the technology in a lighthearted and gratifying way.

Watch as pleasantly surprised passengers catch a ride for as little as €2:

SEAT Deutschland


Flower Pencils Create Cherry Blossom Petals When Sharpened

Arts & Culture
Technology Today

Fragrance Will Release The Smell Of Data If Your Private Information Is Being Leaked

The device is designed to create a physical cue for the potential dangers lurking online

Retail Today

LYNK & CO Is A New Auto Brand That Promises Mobile Connectivity On Wheels

Online access and mobility sharing are driving the company to disrupt the auto industry


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Gaming & Play Today

Nintendo’s New Console Pushes For Portable Gaming

The Switch allows gamers to seamlessly play on the go by themselves or with friends

Related Expert

Makoto Tanijiri

Imaginative Architect

Entertainment Today

Speaker Displays Song Lyrics As Music Is Played

The device is able to generate the graphics on a translucent screen and retrieve the words from a connected database

AI Today

Travel Assistant Scans Your Emails To Make Planning Easier

This AI add-on will sync with your inbox and sends reminders to make sure you don't miss anything important

Millennials Today

FOMO Survival Kit Helps Millennials Cope With Social Anxieties

The satirical product is meant to be a playful diversion for people who feel like they are missing out


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed october 17, 2016

Home Depot Green Energy Expert: Americans Are Taking Control Of Their Power Use

Green tech expert Jennifer Tuohy discusses new home energy tech and developments for renewables in the US

PSFK Labs Today

PSFK Picks: Top 5 Performance-Enhancing Wearables

Our new report looks at innovations pioneering the future of performance through intelligent activewear and predictive analytics

Food Today

New York Restaurant Uses Tomato Sushi As Its Newest Meat Alternative

fresh&co is using sous vide Roma tomatoes to create a vegan option that has the texture and taste of tuna

Advertising Today

Red Bull Converts Sao Paulo Payphones Into Data-Driven Bus Schedules

The booths allow city residents to check local transit times through a simple toll-free phone call

Work Today

Health Expert: Nutritional Meal Replacements Are A Solution To Corporate Wellness

Ample Foods Founder Connor Young explains why supplements are the next food trend coming to the workplace

Retail Today

Why Experiential Events Could Replace Trade Shows

Marketers are seeking creative and impactful new ways to connect with influencers

Children Today

Modular Kit Teaches Kids How To Make Their Own Robots

MODI features magnetic modules and a platform for programming to encourage experimentation

Infants Today

Work Table Doubles As A Baby Seat

Designer Kunsik Choi created the furniture to facilitate emotional communication between between parents and their children

Technology Today

Album Turns Into Something New Each Time It’s Streamed

Bill Baird's new album explores the relationship between time and music through a website crafted by design team, One Pixel Wide

Technology Today

Wearable Device And Lamp Recreate Beautiful Sunsets In Your Home

Sun Memories can record up to six hours of natural light and reproduce it via a connected light at a later date

No search results found.