Battery-powered taxis are expected to be operating in Shenzhen by the end of this year.
President of Shenzhen-based BYD Auto Company, Wang Chuanfu, said Monday about 200 battery-powered taxis were to be introduced by BYD on trial in Shenzhen. A taxi has a range of 350 km before the battery needs recharging. The taxis have a maximum speed of 125km per hour.
Insiders say it is too early to say when the new cabs will be put into wide commercial use since there are still some teething problems. The rechargeable battery for a car is extremely expensive, costing around 80,000 yuan (US$9,600), about half the cost of a battery-driven taxi. They say there is plenty of room for manufacturers to improve the battery to increase the range to at least 800 kilometers.
(Shenzhen Daily June 16, 2004)