World's Largest Fleet of Electric Taxis Celebrates One Year of Operation

By Julian Jackson - 09 May 2011 12:55:1 GMT
World's Largest Fleet of Electric Taxis Celebrates One Year of Operation

China is making great strides to reduce its position as the world's number one greenhouse gas emitter. It has the largest fleet of electric taxis in the world, operating in the southern city of Shenzhen, near Hong Kong. Fifty of these five-seat taxis have been taking passengers since April 29th 2010 and have clocked up over 1,730,000 all-electric miles (or 2.77 million kilometres).

The e6 vehicles, manufactured by Shenzen-based auto-maker BYD, have a range of over 160 miles (250-300 Km) and a top speed of 88 mph (or 140km/h). It merely takes 20-30 minutes to recharge their batteries. ''This fleet of 50 e6 taxis has survived the very harsh operating conditions of hot Shenzhen summers and a very cold winter this year, and drivers and passengers alike have been extremely satisfied with their ride experience'', according to Stella Li, Senior, Vice President, BYD. 250 more eTaxi’s are being delivered to the International University in Shenzhen before August this year and officials believe that the per-car-fuel-savings is over $1167 per-taxi-per-month (£710, Euro 808).

BYD's all-electric taxis are expected to help Shenzhen avoid about 133 lbs (or 60.4Kg) of carbon-dioxide pollution per day per taxi. This is an equivalent of 2,425,060 lbs (or 1.1M kg) of carbon-dioxide pollution avoided by this fleet in this first year.

Some of BYD's e6 taxis in Shenzhen, China

BYD is confident that this year of fleet operation has shown that its advanced batteries, based on Iron-Phosphate technology and rapid charging capability, have been proven in the field.  Other low emission vehicles from BYD include the F3DM petrol-electric hybrid car and all-electric drive eBUS-12.

The F3DM is now being tested in the USA at the Housing Authority of Los Angeles (HACLA). Initial results show that it will achieve 88 mpg and that the per-car savings will be around 70%, as well as reducing carbon dioxide by up to 37 lbs (or 16.8 Kg) per day when driven in electric mode;  obviously when mostly using the petrol engine for extended range the savings will be lower.

Electric eBus12 in operation in Shenzen, China

BYD also has high hopes for its eBUS-12 model of electric bus, which started operations in Shenzhen and Changsha, China, in January 2011. Cities like Beijing have announced favourable legislation for electric vehicles, such as no traffic restrictions and tax-free exemptions, which will make cost-conscious fleet users and consumers more likely to purchase these forms of transport. Although to be completely zero-emission in operation, e-vehicles have to be powered by non-fossil fuel sources of electricity, BYD is showing how reliable and adaptable e-vehicles can be in modern urban driving conditions, which is an important step forward for electric powered vehicle systems.

Photos: BYD