Tokyo Electric Taxi Project

Working at a digital media agency usually means doing work for the screen, but once in a while, my agency will throw something completely random in the mix – like a project to develop car graphics for the . The effort to make

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electric cars more appealing to the Japanese public is a huge step for , a company that doesn’t actually make electric cars, but instead, partners with other car companies to convert selected models to work with Better Place batteries and charging stations. Any Better Place electric car can make a quick pit stop at a – the idea being that these stations will eventually will circle the globe – and have their battery swapped out for a fully charged one in just a few minutes. See all Flickr photos » | See video »


The taxi I designed for is a compact SUV called the Nissan Dualis, which serves the Roppongi Hills district in Tokyo. The design is actually a variation of a design that I did for the Renault Laguna in Isreal, where Better Place . They liked it enough to request a variation

of the same for their campaign in Japan. I am currently working on graphics for a Renault Fleunce Z.E. car, also for Isreal. (see the)

Three electric cabs began

a 90-day trial in Tokyo on Monday that officials and the company involved say could eventually lead to the electrification of the city’s entire taxi fleet. Read more about the campaign »

The design uses these blue “gears” I created, showing that the car is being propelled by clean energy.

Mockup of back view

Mockup of top view

Other decals that are required on the car are standard Japanese taxi decals, a sponsor logo, and a logo for the Roppongi Hills district. Since I had to follow spacing regulations for Japanese taxi decals, I had to make the design to work as best as I could with all these logos! They sent over a bunch of the actual vinyl stickers.
Early sketches for the Tokyo taxi campaign
I went through several iterations of the car design.
Photos From the Launch Day

Check it out! Here’s the actual car driving around in Japan! Did the printing come out great or what? It looks way better printed than in my comps.
Tokyo Electric Taxi Project Launch

Footage from the launch day, and a brief overview of the 60-second battery switching process. That’s the car I did decals for! I’m still in awe.

In Tokyo, taxis represent 2% of cars, but they’re responsible 20% of total emissions. By eliminating taxi emissions, we are eliminating a large chunk of tailpipe emissions. – Kiyotaka Fuiji, President, Better Place Japan

I guarantee you [that] they’re going to ask the driver, “does this thing really work?” And when they say, “Not only does it work, it works better, quieter, I actually like it better than my old taxi…then you have the ultimate demonstration.” – Shai Agassi, CEO Better Place

The car in a showroom

Look! They used the blue “gears” graphic I designed for the walls graphics in the charging station.

The car coming out of the charging station.

They’re taking photos of a car with the decals
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I designed! Surreal.

The news made it onto the front page of the Better Place website and made a lot of press (see below).
  • (New York Times)
  • (Wired)
  • (Cnet)
  • (BusinessWeek)
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Thanks to SolutionSet for the opportunity, and Thomas Schneider and Beto Espitia cheap viagra for creative direction! See all Flickr photos » | See video » (Photo: )


Got something to say? Feel free, I want to hear from you! Leave a Comment

  1. Shawna says:

    This is awesome! I can’t wait to go back to Japan so I can see your decals driving around ;)

    As much fun as it is designing for the web, it’s super surreal (and in a way more exciting) when something lands “in the real world”. I doubt physical designers feel that every single time – I think it’s the fact that it’s unexpected or unusual for us that makes it so special.

  2. Kevin says:

    Oh man this is so awesome! Congrats! I’m going to reblog this and steal some pictures hope you don’t mind, and if you don’t want any of those vinyl stickers shoot them my way haha ;D

  3. Mike says:

    I’m so proud of you! :D

  4. Paula is QuiteCurious says: (Author)

    I agree, it’s exciting to see something you designed in “the real world” (like all that Duke stuff!) To see something translate from Photoshop to a CAR is amazing. It’s also really interesting to see how people react/interact with things in space.

  5. Paula is QuiteCurious says: (Author)

    Thanks, Kev! Sure, steal the pics, I stole them to begin with. I’d give you the vinyl stickers, but they belong to work. “Taxi” in Japanese would be awesome on your bike.

  6. Paula is QuiteCurious says: (Author)


  7. Brian says:

    Fantastic work as always. You should be very proud!

  8. Paula is QuiteCurious says: (Author)

    Thanks, Brian!

  9. HKT says:

    You are phenomenal. Great job since day 1!

  10. Paula is QuiteCurious says: (Author)

    Thanks, HK Tom!

  11. Michelle says:

    Great job Paula! I couldn’t help myself and forwarded this to our eDrive department ;D

  12. Paula is QuiteCurious says: (Author)

    Wow, cool! Where do you work?

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