New taxi operator with all-electric fleet to hit Singapore's roads in September

An example of the BYD e6 all-electric car, which will be used by HDT Singapore Taxi for its taxi fleet.
An example of the BYD e6 all-electric car, which will be used by HDT Singapore Taxi for its taxi fleet.PHOTO: HDT

SINGAPORE - A new taxi company with an all-electric fleet is set to hit the road in two months' time.

HDT Singapore Taxi said on Monday (July 25) that it plans to roll out operations in the first week of September, after getting approval from the Land Transport Authority (LTA).

The firm is expected to start with more than 10 vehicles, before progressively ramping up its fleet to 100 by the first quarter of 2017.

Its managing director James Ng told The Straits Times that fares will be be "competitive and tagged to the market rate", adding that more details will be announced when the Public Transport Council has approved its pricing structure.

Registered as a company here in April, HDT Singapore Taxi will join a market with five other taxi companies which run a total of more than 28,000 cabs here.

The e-taxi trial ties in with the Government's plans to widen the testing of the viability of electric vehicles (EV), from individual corporate usage to fleet-based, shared-car operations.

A LTA spokesman said: "HDT will run a fleet of 100 EVs commercially as part of an eight-year trial, so that the relevant agencies can collect the necessary data under real-life conditions to study the feasibility of EV fleet business models."

HDT Singapore Taxi will use electric vehicles from BYD (Build Your Dreams), a Shenzhen-based auto and battery manufacturer that has United States investment guru Warren Buffett as a shareholder.

It will use BYD's e6 model, which has a range of about 350km, and a battery that requires only 90 minutes to be fully charged.

While other taxi operators lease out their taxis to hirers, HDT Singapore Taxi will be the first to employ their cabbies full-time.