China plans gas-to-electric taxi conversion

Gas-to-electric cab conversion in Beijing brings opportunity worth 9 bln yuanm, National Business Daily NBD Zhao Cheng, 23 February, 2017 

CHENGDU, Feb. 23 (NBD) — All newly added or replaced taxies in the city of Beijing will be converted from gasoline to electricity, according to a draft work program on air pollution control for Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, and surrounding areas in 2017.

This is expected to create a market worth nine billion yuan (1.3 billion US dollars).

One expert says that such plan will not only make great contribution to environmental protection, but will drive the development of the new-energy vehicle industry.

But in the short term, taxi companies will face great challenges as prices of all-electric cars are almost two times higher than those of gasoline-powered ones.

If Beijing can speed up the construction of charging facilities at the same time, it will yield significant results, Cui Dongshu, the secretary-general of the National Passenger Cars Association, told NBD in an interview.

Liu Jinliang, Chairman of Geely’s ride-hailing arm Caocao, hopes the government can grant subsidies to new-energy taxies, which he says will motivate more enterprises.