Battery-powered taxis in Shenzhen

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 18 May, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 18 May, 2010, 12:00am

Thirty electrically powered taxis have entered service in Shenzhen, the first mainland city to have them.

After the success of a pilot programme early this month, in which 10 E6 electric cars made by Shenzhen-based BYD were put into service in the city, a further 20 cabs were handed over to Pengcheng Taxi Co yesterday.

BYD spokeswoman Xu Feng said customers and drivers had given positive feedback during the two-week pilot and the firm planned to put 70 more E6s into service by next month.

BYD chairman Wang Chuanfu said in Hong Kong in March that the company planned to make 100 E6 taxis this year. He said it was a crucial step for BYD because the further development of electric cars would depend on how well the taxis worked.

Xu said the cabs could go about 300 kilometres on a single four-hour charge, which would be convenient for taxi drivers in urban areas.

'Their business will not be disturbed, because they can recharge the cars at night,' she said.

But Xu admitted that the lack of charging stations would restrict the demand for electric cars in Shenzhen and said BYD hoped the local government and power companies could work together to solve the problem for the firm and its customers.

A staff member at Pengcheng, a subsidiary of Shenzhen Bus Group, said the 10 drivers who tested the cabs had found them very easy to operate, as they did not need to change gears.