Two members of the Sustainable Transport Programme in China went for a ride with one of the first battery-electric taxis in the southern metropolis of Shenzhen. Since 2011, the Chinese government supports the development of electric-taxis in urban transport. As of today, around 800 electric-taxis are running on the streets of Shenzhen – nearly three times as many as in 2011. The importance of developing emission-free urban transport is apparent. Due to the tremendous growth in traffic volume, especially in individual motorized transport, China needs to address its strong dependence on oil imports and the growing demand for active environmental protection. Consequently, the Chinese government promotes electric vehicles and development of electro-mobility in order to reduce oil dependency and increase energy efficiency in the transport sector.
E-taxis are, however, only sustainable in combination with the use of renewable energy. In Shenzhen the renewable energy share is approximately 30%; so there remains some way to go to achieve zero emission mobility. Furthermore, charging electric vehicles still poses problems. Two to three charging stops are needed per day and taxi and charging infrastructure is unevenly distributed outside the city centre, leading to additional vehicle kilometers traveled and time lost for charging. However, e-taxis are well-received in Shenzhen, drivers reported, as passengers can save the 3 RMB fuel surcharge, which is being added for every taxi trip with a conventional vehicle.
Read the full story: Factsheet Good Practice in China – Electric taxi in Shenzhen