Last Monday, 40 all-electric taxis were officially launched in southern Guangdong Province’s Shenzhen City — the first batch to go into service in China.
The ceremony was attended by Hu Jianping, president of Shenzhen Bus Group (SBG), which will operate the taxis along with BYD, maker of the electric taxis. BYD and SBG formed Pengcheng Electric Taxi Co., Ltd. to handle the all-electric fleet. Wang Chuanfu, chief executive of BYD, said that the E6 cars’ ET (environment technology) batteries produce zero emissions and won’t harm the environment.
Wang said that the five-passenger E6, with a top speed of 140 km/h, consumed 21.5 KWH of power per 100 km. It is capable of running about 300 km on just one charge, a RECORD for all-electric vehicles. These taxis were priced at a little above US$40,000 each.
By the end of June, it’s expected that Shenzhen’s roads will have about 100 E6 taxis. Later this year, the company will begin selling E6 cars to the US through its headquarters in Los Angeles. And for Europe, BYD intends to produce the E6 in February 2011.
Vice Mayor Zhang Siping said that the electric taxis were a significant factor in building a low-carbon urban transport system. He also revealed that Shenzhen plans to have more of these taxis on the roads. Huang Yonghe, an expert at the China Automobile Technology and Research Center, said that if all-electric taxis could be promoted across China, the air quality in the cities would improve greatly.