Nissan chief pitches electric taxis to Hong Kong

Sep 12, 2012 by Kelvin Chan

(AP)—Nissan President Carlos Ghosn met Wednesday with Hong Kong's leader to pitch a proposal for the Japanese car maker to supply electric taxis to the southern Chinese city.

Ghosn's visit with Leung Chun-ying is part of an effort to sell Nissan's electric taxi technology to cities around the world looking to upgrade their taxi fleets to more environmentally friendly models.

Earlier this year, New York City chose Nissan's van-like NV200 to replace older models starting October 2013, with an electric version on the cards for 2017.

Ghosn said he "proposed to offer a solution for Hong Kong, particularly into taxis or fleets" and Leung seemed "very interested." He gave few other details.

Hong Kong's 18,000 Toyota taxis are powered by liquefied petroleum gas. They were launched in 2001 and many are due to be replaced in the next two to three years.

Environmental and transportation officials are examining the feasibility of replacing the taxis with electric vehicles in a bid to reduce the city's frequently heavy . The government has provided subsidies for pilot projects of electric taxi models by other carmakers including China's BYD Co.

Co. is also planning electric taxi tests in the Chinese cities of Wuhan and Guangzhou.

Nissan is considered a leader in the electric car industry and its Leaf was the first all-electric vehicle sold in the U.S. The company is targeting global sales of 1.5 million electric vehicles by 2015 in conjunction with alliance partner Renault SA.

Winning the Hong Kong taxi contract could boost Nissan's electric ambitions in China, which has set a goal of creating a world-beating electric . The Chinese government has set bold targets for the development of the industry, including sales of 5 million by 2020, though it has scaled back its ambitions after facing technological hurdles and lack of buyer interest.

While Hong Kong is an ideal place for electric taxis because its compact geography means drivers wouldn't have to worry about getting too far from charging stations, the carmaker needs to figure out how to develop charging infrastructure, said Executive Vice President Andy Palmer.

The city has only six fast charging stations, so Nissan is thinking about donating more and setting up a test fleet, Palmer said.

Explore further: Ambitious EU targets for renewable energies make economic sense

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Nissan Leaf electric wins Japan car of the year

Dec 04, 2011

Japanese motor giant Nissan won Car of the Year Japan at the Tokyo Motor Show on Saturday for its Leaf electric model, its makers said, the first time an electric vehicle has picked up the award.

Mitsubishi rolls out new electric car in Hong Kong

May 20, 2010

Japan's Mitsubishi Motors unveiled its i-MiEV electric car in Hong Kong on Thursday, its first foreign launch of the vehicle as competition accelerates in the clean-energy auto sector.

Drivers of Nissan's electric Leaf report problems

Apr 11, 2011

Japanese auto giant Nissan on Monday said customers in the United States and Japan had reported problems restarting their all-electric Leaf vehicles after switching the motor off. ...

Nissan eyes 1.5 million electric cars by 2016

Oct 24, 2011

Japanese auto giant Nissan is aiming to sell 1.5 million electric vehicles around the world by 2016, the company said Monday, as it looks to capitalise on growing demand for green products.

Recommended for you

Should the Japanese give nuclear power another chance?

Oct 24, 2014

On September 9, 2014, the Japan Times reported an increasing number of suicides coming from the survivors of the March 2011 disaster. In Minami Soma Hospital, which is located 23 km away from the power plant, ...

UK wind power share shows record rise

Oct 24, 2014

The United Kingdom wind power production has been enjoying an upward trajectory, and on Tuesday wind power achieved a significant energy production milestone, reported Brooks Hays for UPI. High winds from Hurricane Gonzalo were the force behind wind turbines outproducing nuclear power ...

Global boom in hydropower expected this decade

Oct 24, 2014

An unprecedented boom in hydropower dam construction is underway, primarily in developing countries and emerging economies. While this is expected to double the global electricity production from hydropower, it could reduce ...

User comments : 0