Deputy calls for support for electric taxis

Chen Huizhi
More charging places and higher prices are suggested.
Chen Huizhi

Taxi drivers generally do not use electric taxis due to lack of charging posts, said deputy Yang Guoping, general manager of Dazhong Transportation Co.

This impedes the government’s ambition to green up 50,000 taxis in Shanghai by 2022. By the end of October last year, only 1,900 taxis were running on electricity, Yang said.

The short range of Roewe electric cars means that the time taken to charge the cars can cause drivers to earn less, Yang said.

The first-generation Roewe cars went into use in 2018 and can run for 210 kilometers on one charge. The new generation have better performance in this regard, but an average driver who has no partner drives over 300 kilometers every day.

Drivers of the cars have to charge their cars once or twice every day, which takes about 40 minutes each time. According to an industry survey in June last year, drivers of the first-generation Roewe earn 131.5 yuan (US$20) or 15 percent less than their peers who drive conventional Touran cars.

The problem is coupled with a “serious lack” of charging facilities for taxis and the high costs of charging, Yang said.

Drivers of electric taxis usually have to spend a lot of time looking for charging places and waiting in queues. Most electric taxi drivers illegally charge their cars at home at night, a great safety hazard for their neighbors, he said.

The taxi companies are also in an awkward position as the cost of running and maintaining electric cars is much greater. For example, to insure an electric car costs 14,700 yuan each year, while a traditional car costs only 10,700 yuan, according to Yang.

“In recent years, the taxi industry has not done well, so companies can hardly take the rising cost of electric taxis,” he said.

Yang called for more charge posts at airports, train stations and public transportation junctions, more charging grounds with favorable charging prices for taxis, and to allow such drivers to apply for charging docks at the residential complexes where they live.

He also suggests that the government raises the prices of electric taxis. Currently the price is 16 yuan for the first 3 kilometers and 2.5 yuan per kilometer after.

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