Hong Kong is laying the foundations for a zero-emissions city with a brand new fleet of 45 bright red electric taxis. Manufactured by China’s BYD, which is partially backed by Warren Buffet, each five-door BYDe6 crossover sedan is powered by an iron phosphate battery that charges in two hours and has a modest 180 mile range. Hong Kong Taxi and Public Light Bus Association Limited are renting the fleet as part of a six month trial period that some say will earn taxi drivers a better wage and local government officials hail the move as the right step towards a cleaner urban environment.
Mr. John Tsang Chun-wah, the GBM, JP, Financial Secretary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Regional Government welcomed BYD to Hong Kong and reaffirmed his commitment to “promoting environmental sustainability by laying the foundation for Hong Kong to become a zero emissions city,” according to a recent press release.
“This not only asserts our green vision for promoting environmental sustainability for a better world, but is also a significant step for us in bringing green transport to benefit all people,” added Mr.Wang Chuan-fu, Chairman and President of BYD.
In addition to the vehicles, BYD is installing 47 chargers in nine different locations throughout Hong Kong. Eventually this will be scaled up to prepare for wider deployment of electric cars all over China, including Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, New Territories and Lantau Island.
“The selection of these locations was optimized with the taxi-driver, shift-change locations,” according to BYD. Ideally, the driver will be able to charge the car during their lunch shift. Not only that, but they will earn more. Standard vehicles cost 10 US cents per kilometer to run, while the electric taxis will cost one third of that amount.