China Declares Death Of Gas Taxis In Beijing, Only Electric From Here On Out

4 weeks ago by Eric Loveday 27

BYD e6 taxi fleet

BYD Taxis

Smog has become so prevalent in some cities in China that action must be taken to curb the pollution issue.

Effective immediately, Beijing will begin a phase-out process for gas-powered taxis. Those taxis will be replaced by pure electric cars, like the BYD e6 taxis seen in the images associated with this post.

Reports suggest that some 71,000 taxis roam the roads of Beijing. Right now, only 4,000 or so of them operate under electric power.

The phase-out begins now. Any new taxi entering service from here on out will be required to be pure electric. As older gas taxis are removed from service, their replacements will be required to be battery powered. Obviously, it will take some years to replace the whole 67,000-unit fleet of gas burners, but the process is underway right now.

Taxi operators are already complaining though. According to reports, a typical taxi in Beijing costs approximately $10,000 to purchase, while a similar electric taxi costs double that or even more.

In order to support such a large number of electric cars in one city, a vast infrastructure will have to be constructed. Details on how the infrastructure will be funded and put in place have not been released.

Source: Mashable

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32 responses to "China Declares Death Of Gas Taxis In Beijing, Only Electric From Here On Out"

  1. SparkEV says:

    From email conversion few days ago when I sent the link to the article.

    Article: “There are 200 electric taxis on the streets of Tongzhou in Beijing, but only about 100 are on the road, while the other 100 are waiting to be charged,”

    SparkEV: It’s too bad there’s no battery swap.

    Jay: W00f, battery swapping, (=

    SparkEV: I thought it might bring smiles to FCEV guys like sven. 🙂

    All in fun, guys. 🙂

    1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

      For the record, I’m ZEV agnostic. I don’t care if it’s a BEV, HFCV, uses alien technology, or runs on rainbows and unicorn farts. If it’s a ZEV, then it’s OK with me 😀

      If only some company would combine a BEV taxi with a Hydrogen fuel cell system, like when chocolate and peanut butter were combined to create the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, then we’d have a Plug-in HFCV taxi.

      http://www.greencarcongress.com/2017/03/20170302-symbio.html

      http://www.symbiofcell.com/en/

      1. SparkEV says:

        I was going to say zzzzzzz, but I didn’t know how many z’s to type, so I used your name instead. Serves you right for having such easy name! 🙂

        For such heavily used application that mostly operate in slow traffic, even FC would be fine. But it’s too expensive, especially if you have to pepper the city with H stations since many won’t be able to travel far to refuel due to traffic.

        Better would’ve been SparkEV. With its quick charging and about 100 miles range in city traffic per 20 minutes charge, just sprinkling DCFC would’ve worked well. But since SparkEV is no more, it’s just a dream like FC.

        That brings up an interesting point. For city taxi application, BEV that charges quick would be better than very range and slow charge. If a taxi with big battery / slow charge is sitting at charger for hour(s), that’s pretty bad.

        1. Leaf2012 says:

          Once you get to Bolt or Tesla battery size then charging isn’t such a big deal. If you can drive 4 hours for every hour of fast charging you could have the following day.
          0700 start with full battery
          0900 plug in the QC and get a coffe and a donut.
          0915 next trip
          1200 time for lunch, again stop at a location with QC and eat while charging
          1230 on the road again
          1430 small snack and Quick Charging while waiting for next trip
          1445 next trip
          1600 end of work day

          total 9 hours
          Quick Charging time 1 hour
          driving time 8 hours
          time lost for refuelling 0 hours

          With a battery at this size you are also able to take the charging breaks when it suits you and your schedule best, with a small battery you will have to charge or swap batteries very often at set times.

          Also keep in mind the less downtime due to frequent visits to dealer for replacing oil, oil filters, belts and fluids.

          http://insideevs.com/chevrolet-bolt-requires-almost-no-maintenance-for-first-150000-miles/

          1. Martin Winlow says:

            I’m sure Beijing, like the London (UK) that I know, has an average traffic speed of sub 20mph. Why would you need anything more than 25kWh or so battery pack as, with a rapid charge over lunch, your entry level EV could manage at least 150 miles a day if not more. The ‘I won’t buy an EV until the battery gets bigger’ myth is clearly still as strong as it is (almost) completely wrong!

            1. JeremyK says:

              Shanghai and Beijing are vast cities with high speed freeway loops, not unlike most American cities. Yes, speeds are slow on surface streets but it might be 20 miles from a downtown hotel to an international airport and that will always involve a significant portion of freeway travel at normal highway speeds during non-peak times of the day.

        2. John says:

          There are electric buses that use this “small battery, fast charge” approach.

      2. ffbj says:

        Yeah, lets spoil chocolate and peanut butter at the same time by making a Reese’s.

  2. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

    If they tried to pull that here, all hell would break loose.
    Protests everywhere!

    1. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

      In NYC there were howls of protest from medallion owners and taxi companies when Mayor Bloomturd decreed that going forward there will only be one model of taxi allowed, the ICE “Taxi Of Tomorrow” (a slightly modified Nissan NV200). One exception are hybrids that meet certain interior space criteria (taxi medallion owners and driver love hybrids and their lower operating costs). But once Nissan starts making a hybrid NV200, then all other hybrids will forbidden.

      I’m not sure what the exception for EVs works. Since Nissan make a BEV e-NV200, other models of EV might not be allowed. I;m not sure. All the BEV Leaf taxis are now out of service since nobody wants to drive them. They failed miserably in NYC due to reduced range in winter and battery degradation, and having the only two DC Fast Chargers in Manhattan ICED when they needed to charge.

    2. SJC says:

      The irony is the coal fired power plants around the city running harder every night to charge the taxis, wake up the next morning with an inversion.

      1. Ocean Railroader says:

        China has been building solar panels and wind farms along with giant transmission line systems all over the place last year. China doubled their solar power capacity in 2016.

        1. SJC says:

          They are also building coal fired power plants at record rates.

          1. Leaf2012 says:

            http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/chinas-coal-consumption-falls-3rd-year-row-45795242

            They also recently cancelled over 100 new coal plants, many of them already in the building process.

            1. SJC says:

              They went from building two a week to one.

      2. Ron M says:

        Actually on 1/24/2017 China announced it was canceling or closing 100 coal plants some of the plants have already began construction. Totaling a companied installed generating capacity of 100 GW’s.
        They also reduced there coal use in 2016 by 9%.

  3. HVACman says:

    And as China goes, so goes England, the EU and much of the rest of the world in the near future. GM made a globally-strategic move to configure the Bolt as a micro-people-mover and jump into Maven and Lyft so aggressively. This is where the future real market and the real money lies.

    1. Mikael says:

      England is a region in the sovereign country UK which is a part of the EU.

      So it would be enough to just say EU. 😉

      1. Jlutz says:

        Perhaps a Brexit joke?

  4. Counter-Strike Cat says:

    When a taxi license is bonded to a car, magic happens and the car will last forever. Look at Tokyo, it’s full of 20-30 years old Toyota taxis.

    1. ffbj says:

      True. Though they may put a sunset clause in at some point. The Chinese don’t fool around when they want to get something done, and they want to do this.

    2. All-Purpose Guru says:

      Some of those are brand new taxis that are based on a 20 year old design. Like the old Checker Marathon in the US, Toyota still makes the older Toyota Crown Taxi model for taxi use only.

      You can see brand new ones in Hong Kong today.

  5. SteveSeattle says:

    If the EPA deregulates emissions will US be free to mandate EV taxis?

    1. Dan says:

      The two concepts aren’t even remotely connected. So, yes.

  6. ModernMarvelFan says:

    They should also mandate an capacity gauge on the outside of the car so people would know which electric taxi to flag down… LOL

    If I am in a hurry to go the airport, then I don’t flag down the one that only has 20 miles range left.

    Similar thing happened to us in Xian, China. We went to see the terracotta warriors. Afterward, we were on a hurry to get to our flights at airport. The taxis ran out of “gas” (it was powered by compressed natural gas). It turned out that he had to find a CNG station and the station had a long line and it took us 15 minutes to fill up. It really made us nervous about missing our flight. We barely made it.

    I want to see those Taxi’s range gauge before I can wave them down. I don’t care if they are powered by gasoline, diesel, CNG or electric.

  7. All-Purpose Guru says:

    The picture of the BYD e6 taxis (in red) at the top of the article are Hong Kong taxis, not Beijing. Hong Kong needs this even more than Beijing does, with 4 gazillion taxis on the road at all times…

    It used to be said that if you waved your arm in a restroom in Hong Kong a taxi would stop.

  8. abc123 says:

    Gotta hand it to the Chinese government, when they want to do something fast, they don’t mess around. Unlike some other governments where things are perpetually stalemated.

    On the other hand, quick decisions can have consequences. China is a cesspool of pollution… no doubt a result of quick decisions. They are historically famous for this.

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