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Inside Look At Electric Taxis Hitting China In Mass This Summer

Over the past couple of years, the most exciting developments in EV production and sales have generally happened in North America and Europe, but the focus is undoubtedly turning to China. While Chinese EV start-ups may not be glamorous and the country’s incentives have not made huge inroads in spurring private consumption, private-public partnerships for EV fleet implementation are gaining traction. By this summer, China will be home to the top three largest electric taxi fleets in the world, specifically Shenzhen, Beijing, and Nanjing.

China is well known for its massive infrastructure projects that it develops in anticipation of international events, with the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and the World Expo in Shanghai in 2010 being two prominent examples. This summer, Nanjing will be hosting the Youth Olympics, and the city has been intensely remaking itself with new metro lines, new bike lanes, new electric buses, and new taxis. Since electric taxis are part of this expansion, last week I went to speak with Zhang Qi, who will be in charge of the 400 BYD e6s on Nanjing’s streets this summer.

Zhang Qi is an assistant manager at the Jiangnan Taxi Division (江南出租汽车分公司), which is a division of the Nanjing Transportation Exchange Company. In his current position, he works as a liaison between BYD, where he worked formerly, and Jiangnan Taxi. At the moment, his main focus has been overseeing a pilot program with a dozen electric taxis and making sure their company will be able to handle the upcoming expansion of more electric taxis.



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