Chinese EV manufacturer BYD announced that is will provide the Colombian city of Bogotá with a fleet of 46 all-electric taxis.
This first South American, all-electric taxi fleet will be launching next month with 46 BYD e6 cross-over sedans. These units will be placed into taxi service as of Q1 2013 in the Colombian capital.
BYD Ltd and Praco Didacol (BYD’s Colombian distribution partner) held a press conference Wednesday Dec. 12 with BYD’s Chairman Chuanfu Wang for the announcement.
Ms. Stella Li, BYD senior vice president, says BYD hopes to triple the company’s growth and presence in Colombia by next year.
The district government authorized this scalable all-electric taxi pilot program in an effort to improve the air quality in Colombia’s dense cities.
In total, 49 BYD e6, 5-passenger, all-electric cross-over sedans received approval from the Colombia Ministry of Transportation to operate as taxis in the city of Bogotá.
When they start being used, BYD said they will be the most spacious and comfortable taxis in Colombia. BYD also says they are extremely quiet on roads and completely non-polluting (no direct emissions).
A measure was adopted by the Colombian Ministry of Environment in 2009 so that these types of vehicles could be imported with zero tax. Plus, electric cars in Bogotá do not have license plate restrictions like other petroleum vehicles.
“It is important that the capital city be the first to lead a project like this, because of its size and the demand. The idea is that this project can be replicated in other places in Colombia,” assured Marcela Bonilla, Sectorial Director of Urban Affairs for the Ministry of the Environment.
According to Susana Muhamad, District Secretary of Environment, “this project will permit us to analyze the behavior of the electric cars, with the purpose of reducing the dependence on fossil fuels.”
BYD’s EV vehicles have accumulated over 50 million kilometers (30 million miles) as of Dec 2012.
The company considers its market differentiator as being its long-cycle-life and environmentally-friendly Iron-Phosphate battery.
BYD Auto’s distributor in Colombia, Praco Didacol, has been in business in Colombia for over 95 years.