The Dutch port city of Rotterdam is pushing forward on its plan to explore the possibilities of Electric Vehicles (EVs) for public transport and utilities. 75 EVs of different types are to operate on the roads in this bustling maritime city, to test how effective they will be in ordinary driving conditions and highlight any problems that might occur.
The project is called ''75-EV-RO''. It is a very significant step in building the new energy fleet in Rotterdam. The 75 new energy vehicles will be the start of a new municipal low-carbon energy fleet in Rotterdam, consisting of EVs, Hybrids, biofuelled vehicles and other renewable-fuel machines. The objectives are to promote the concept of electrified transportation among ordinary people, and also foreground public concerns over vehicle safety, charging technology and local environment improvement so that vehicles can be developed further with the experience and data which will be collected during this project.
One of the vehicles to be road-tested is the Chinese-made BYD e6 5-seat all-electric taxi with 300 km range per charge. A fleet of 50 e6 taxis has been in service in Shenzhen, China, since May 2010, and the overall driving distance has surpassed three million kilometres by the end of April 2011. The successful operation of the e6 taxis in Shenzhen proved its reliability and has gained precious data for the further improvement of EVs. (For more information see Earthtimes' article here).
The first e6 vehicle in Rotterdam
Mrs. A. van Huffelen, the Vice Mayor of Rotterdam, said: ''The Rotterdam Government has been committed to the development of cleaner transportation and aims to make Rotterdam a cleaner, greener and more healthy city of Europe. The '75-EV-RO' is one of the hybrid/Electric vehicle pilot projects that we have in hand. We are looking forward to testing the e6 and think the e6 is a great choice for this project.''
The e6's main strength is its superior battery technology, which means improved reliability and most importantly, greater range than other similar EVs. This project is expected to contribute to the knowledge and understanding of the practicalities of electric vehicles, which produce far lower emissions than petrol or diesel equivalents, on urban streets.