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S’pore’s first electric taxi fleet to start operations in September

SINGAPORE — The first electric taxis will ply the roads here in September, under a trial by HDT Singapore Taxi. The sixth taxi operator in Singapore, it plans to launch a fleet of 100 battery-operated taxis by the first quarter of 2017.

S’pore’s first electric taxi fleet to start operations in September

Screengrab from HDT Singapore's website

SINGAPORE — The first electric taxis will ply the roads here in September, under a trial by HDT Singapore Taxi. The sixth taxi operator in Singapore, it plans to launch a fleet of 100 battery-operated taxis by the first quarter of 2017.

These taxis are manufactured by China-based BYD, the world’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicles and rechargeable batteries.

The operator will also roll out charging points that allow the taxis to be fully fuelled in 1.5 hours. The trial, set to operate for eight years, is part of the Government’s plans to test the viability of electric vehicles here, a project co-led by the Land Transport Authority and the Singapore Economic Development Board.

BYD’s research and development team will collaborate with institutions here in areas such as energy management and driver behaviour studies.

The LTA’s E-Mobility Technology Roadmap for Singapore projected that fleet vehicles such as public buses and taxis offer the biggest potential for electrification.

Although taxi fleets account for only 3 per cent of the vehicle population here, they hold the highest annual mileage per vehicle, HDT Singapore Taxi and BYD said in a joint statement yesterday.

Electric taxis have no tail-pipe emissions and are quieter than vehicles with internal combustion engines. HDT Singapore Taxi will also be the first in the taxi market here to pay their drivers a salary. Other industry players lease taxis to drivers for a fee. The company said that it would continue to operate its private-hire service started in December 2014 with an existing fleet of 30 electric vehicles, done through a booking line (6258 8888).

The fleet has clocked a mileage of about three million km — equivalent to the reduction of around 1,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.

Last month, the Government announced that the first nationwide electric car-sharing programme will kick off in housing estates such as Ang Mo Kio, Jurong East and Punggol by the middle of next year, with the first batch of 125 electric vehicles and 250 charging points to be rolled out in these towns. KELLY NG

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