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Hinomaru Limousine Co. on Thursday added two electronic vehicles to its fleet for use primarily in Tokyo’s business district on weekdays.

The company held a ceremony in Marunouchi to mark the start of the first environmentally friendly taxi service in Tokyo with two i-MiEV electric cars.

The taxis will operate mainly in the Marunouchi, Otemachi and Yurakucho districts. The fare for the first 2 km will be identical to that of ordinary taxis at ¥710.

Fully charged, the i-MiEV can travel as far as central Yokohama, the company said. If passengers’ requested destinations are faraway locations, drivers might deny them a ride because their traveling distance is limited, it added.

“Our company will gradually expand the i-MiEV fleet, say, to five and then to 10, down the road if there is adequate demand,” Senior Managing Director Kazuhiro Tomita said.

Apart from Tokyo, electric vehicles are being used as taxis in Kashiwazaki, Niigata Prefecture, Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture, and the city of Okayama.

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