Electric Taxis Need More Exposure
The Shenzhen electric taxi project is being hailed as a success, according to most of the riders that have already experience riding the electric taxis. So far, there have been no reports of accidents, and drivers were kind and gracious.
This pilot project was replicated in other cities, and is an ambitious move by the government trying to fill the roads with electric vehicles and plug in hybrids by the year 2015. To further strengthen China’s energy security, China announced that the electric vehicle industry will be it’s top priority setting aside US$ 1.5 billion annually in their hopes that it can transform the country as one of the leading producers of clean vehicles in ten years.
Even with the full support of the government and its popularity with e-taxi customers, the challenge still remains on how such vehicles will be accepted and on how to maximize their usage. There are only a few charging stations to be found, plus repair shops are hard to find. Even with government subsidies the cars are still costly.
In 2009,Shenzhen along with twelve other cities lead the transfer to clean vehicles, with Shenzhen and Hangzhou attempting to launch a e-taxi fleet. The state owned pengcheng e-taxi is co-owned by BYD, a Shenzhen-based car manufacturer that produces electric vehicles.
BYD will be delivering 250 more electric taxis to pencheng by August in an effort to further introduce the use of e-taxi in the city. BYD will also be providing 200 electric buses that will be added to the city’s existing public transportation just in time for the Universiade.