VW has revealed plans for a mass-market electric taxi as part of plans to sell several electric vehicles from 2013.

The car, unveiled at the Hannover Messe show today, is called the Milano Taxi and described as an "urban MPV tailored to the needs of taxi drivers". It is 3.73 metres long, 1.60 metres tall and 1.66 metres wide, and weighs less than 1500kg.

It uses a lithium ion battery that is integrated underneath the car, has 85kW of power, a 75mph top speed and a range of 300 kilometres (186 miles) between charges. An 80 per cent charge takes just over an hour.

The most striking feature on the concept is its swivel-sliding door, which extends into the roof to make a wide opening. It also uses a vacant front passenger space to carry luggage and a cut back dash to boost interior room.

A screen in the rear displays the current fare and allows passengers to get more information on local points of interest. The driver also has a touchscreen computer, which de-clutters the dash, controlling functions including the climate control, taxi radio, telephone, sat-nav and trip computer.

The name Milano is inspired by its colour scheme: it is green and black, the same colour taxis in Milan used to be painted. The styling is inspired by teh VW Beetle and Samba bus.