Hong Kong launches first electric taxis

May 18, 2013
People look at an electric taxi on a street in Hong Kong, on May 18, 2013. HK saw its first electric taxis hit the streets in a step towards reducing the city's high levels of roadside pollution. The 45 bright red cars were launched by Chinese electric vehicle producer BYD, which is partly backed by US investment titan Warren Buffett.

Hong Kong saw its first electric taxis hit the streets on Saturday in a step towards reducing the city's high levels of roadside pollution.

The 45 bright red cars were launched by Chinese electric vehicle producer BYD, which is partly backed by US investment titan Warren Buffett.

Called the BYD e6, the five-door crossover sedans are powered by batteries and take two hours to charge, a statement from BYD said, adding that they can then travel for 300 kilometres (more than 180 miles).

The cars have been rented by the Hong Kong Taxi and Public Light Bus Association, which is testing them over the next six months.

"The idea of being environmentally friendly is a global trend and the electric car is one good example," said Wong Chung Keung, president and chairman of the association.

"An electric car saves the cost of fuel and will allow our taxi drivers to earn more," he added, saying that a normal taxi would cost HK$0.8 (10 US cents) to run per kilometre (0.6 miles) while an electric car would cost HK$0.2-HK$0.3.

He called for more charging stations around the city to encourage drivers to go electric—BYD said it is setting up 47 chargers in nine charging locations near car parks.

Hong Kong's Financial Secretary John Tsang was quoted in a BYD statement as welcoming the electric car and saying he was committed to "promoting environmental sustainability by laying the foundation for Hong Kong to become a city".

The government announced revisions to its air quality objectives for the first time in 25 years in January 2012, after University of Hong Kong research showed pollution-related illnesses killed more than 3,000 residents a year.

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8 comments

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Neinsense99
2.7 / 5 (7) May 18, 2013
Good move for Hong Kong. With huge numbers of visitors every year, people worldwide will hear stories about the electric taxis, stories that may influence future purchase decisions or at least bust some persistent myths.

Queue the anti-electric vehicle trolls in three... two... one...
Klewch
5 / 5 (1) May 18, 2013

"Developed by a Mr Walter Bersey in 1897, the Bersey taxi was London's first "self-propelled" vehicle and, at their peak, there were no less than 75 of these electric cabs going about their business on London's thoroughfares."
Neinsense99
1 / 5 (4) May 18, 2013

"Developed by a Mr Walter Bersey in 1897, the Bersey taxi was London's first "self-propelled" vehicle and, at their peak, there were no less than 75 of these electric cabs going about their business on London's thoroughfares."

Nice historical quote to put the 'untested electric vehicle' in context.
FMA
2.3 / 5 (3) May 18, 2013
It didn't say how long the battery can last if the air-conditioning is on!!
italba
3 / 5 (4) May 19, 2013
@FMA: You could have calculate it yourself, if you where not a stupid troll: 48kWh battery, 2kW air conditioning = a whole day with maximum air conditioning on. 300 Km in a big city = 5 or 6 hours. If you use air conditioning in your trip you can loose, maybe, 1/2 hour or 50 Km worth of battery charge.
geokstr
1 / 5 (3) May 19, 2013
@FMA: You could have calculate it yourself, if you where not a stupid troll: 48kWh battery, 2kW air conditioning = a whole day with maximum air conditioning on. 300 Km in a big city = 5 or 6 hours. If you use air conditioning in your trip you can loose, maybe, 1/2 hour or 50 Km worth of battery charge.


Typical. A True Believer can't respond to what appears to be an innocent question that may be tangentially critical of his beloved AGW without calling him stupid and a troll. Is unnecessary belligerence a hereditary or learned trait?

Taxi drivers work 10-12 hour shifts, much of the revenue is to rent the car, their share being everything after that. On a slow day they're lucky to make anything at all because they still have to pay the full rent. Of what use to them is a vehicle that doesn't last long enough to even pay their daily rental (other than for the owners of the company to make a PR or political statement?

blue_sky
not rated yet May 19, 2013
BYD, well。。。
italba
2.3 / 5 (3) May 19, 2013
@geokstr: If somebody keep asking the same stupid question found in all the discussions about electric cars, how should I call him? If FMA was not born yesterday, he can only be either a troll or a payed fud spreader! About your post: How can you pretend that all the world follows U.S. standards? Those taxis ARE NOT leased to each one taxi driver! Taxi drivers WORKS FOR the Hong Kong Taxi and Public Light Bus Association, a public company! Maybe they must work 12 hours a day too, but, if the taxi they're driving needs recharging, they can swap it with a freshly charged one. And the LiFe-PO batteries can be (a recent article on phys.org says should BETTER be) fast charged.

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