New LPG-powered taxis in Milan
While in some countries taxi fleets are haphazard collections of vehicles owned by the drivers, in this case we're talking of identical Citroën Berlingos. Not only are they autogas-powered, but also have been converted to meet the needs and demands of impaired passengers in wheelchairs. The entire operation was possible thanks to cooperation of three companies: Citroën Italia (car provider), Rolfi Special Trims (body conversion) i Cavagna Group (LPG conversion).
The resulting vehicle (although there are more than one) is called the Citroën Berlingo Freespace For All and is much better suited for transporting people in wheelchairs than standard Berlingos thanks to its lowered floor and ramp. You may well ask where the LPG tank is since the typical (for French cars, that is) spare wheel basket is gone (due to the lowered floor) and placing a cylindrical autogas container the trunk is not an option, either. Especially since the Freespace is wheelchair-ready only as required – usually it's a 5-passenger car just like any other Berlingo.
The Milan taxis are revolutionary for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, many similar conversions are done by means of raising the roof and fitting a lift for wheelchairs. While a raised roof would still leave room for an LPG tank fitted to the underbody, the modified and lowered floor required a custom, tailor-made solution, prepared especially for the converted Citroëns. Incidentally, the cars have been commissioned with the upcoming Expo 2015 world exhibition in mind and they're already in service. With their wheelchair compatibility and autogas power, they set a great example for taxi fleets all over the world.
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