Hong Kong taxis go greener as new fuel-efficient hybrids set to join fleet
Taxis cost about HK$300,000 each and get 19.4km per litre of LPG
Hong Kong’s taxi operators are set to embrace the era of the hybrid with the arrival of four energy-saving, next-generation Toyota taxis that now await the government’s importation approval.
A spokesman for Crown Motors Ltd, the sole distributor of Toyota taxis, said the company hoped the government would give the go-ahead very soon on the introduction of new taxis, which were expected to hit Hong Kong roads next year.
The taxis, which include wheelchair access, cost about HK$300,000 (US$38,500) each and are more environmentally friendly than typical local cabs because hybrid vehicles run on LPG and electricity.
Compared with the traditional LPG-powered Toyota Comfort taxis, the new taxi is expected to save half the energy cost with its capacity of travelling 19.4km per litre of LPG. Traditional taxis travel about 9km per litre of LPG.
The four hybrid vehicles will undergo safety and compliance tests by the Transport Department and the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department.
“The vehicle has four seats and its rear side is equipped with an electric sliding door so it is wheelchair accessible,” the spokesman said.
Once the new taxis launch in the city, Toyota will cease production of its current Comfort taxi model, which costs about HK$250,000.
At present, there are 18,163 taxis in Hong Kong, of which Toyota has a market share exceeding 90 per cent.
There are an estimated 10,000 Toyota Comfort taxis on local roads that are more than 13 years old and need to be replaced. The spokesman said the company had enough vehicles to meet the market demand in Hong Kong.