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Sunday, 19 May 2013

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Hong Kong launches first electric taxis

18 May AFP

Hong Kong saw its first electric taxis hit the streets yesterday in a step towards reducing the city's high levels of roadside pollution.The 45 bright red cars were launched by Chinese electric vehicle producer BYD, which is partly backed by US investment titan Warren Buffett.Called the BYD e6, the five-door crossover sedans are powered by iron phosphate batteries and take two hours to charge, a statement from BYD said, adding that they can then travel for 300 kilometres (more than 180 miles).

The cars have been rented by the Hong Kong Taxi and Public Light Bus Association, which is testing them over the next six months.

"The idea of being environmentally friendly is a global trend and the electric car is one good example," said Wong Chung Keung, president and chairman of the association.

"An electric car saves the cost of fuel and will allow our taxi drivers to earn more," he added, saying that a normal taxi would cost HK$0.8 (10 US cents) to run per kilometre (0.6 miles) while an electric car would cost HK$0.2-HK$0.3.He called for more charging stations around the city to encourage taxi drivers to go electric -- BYD said it is setting up 47 chargers in nine charging locations near car parks.

 

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