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China: BYD eyes building tower in HK to charge e-taxis

Electric carmaker BYD Automobile said it would consider building a multi-storey charging tower in Hong Kong if the government provided land and policy support.

The move would be part of the company’s ambitious plan to convert the city’s 18,138 taxis fuelled by liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) into electric cars. The success of that plan will depend largely on a trial run in which more than 40 electric taxis are to hit Hong Kong roads later this year.

Brandon Tong Yeuk-fung, chairman of the Hong Kong Taxi and Public Light Bus Association, said it would buy about 40 BYD e6 cars to be used as taxis if the firm could provide a means to charge their batteries.

BYD’s ultimate goal is to have several charging towers in the city – each about six storeys high, with quick-charge outlets for 240 taxis plus dining facilities and shops. That would allow taxi drivers to relax and have a meal during the charging process, which takes up to an hour.

“The concept is similar to the nine government-subsidised LPG stations in Hong Kong. Taxi drivers get cheaper gas there because the government waived the land premium for the stations,” said Paul Lin, senior manager of overseas marketing for BYD.
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