SMRT on drive for all-electric taxi fleet in five years

Other mobility services using electric vehicles such as vans and buses will also be rolled out, as part of its green push

SMRT's transition to cleaner-energy taxis began in 2013 when more than 600 Toyota Prius Hybrid cabs were added. Last year, its fleet became 100 per cent hybrid.
SMRT's transition to cleaner-energy taxis began in 2013 when more than 600 Toyota Prius Hybrid cabs were added. Last year, its fleet became 100 per cent hybrid.PHOTO: SMRT

SMRT aims to change all its taxis to 100 per cent electric vehicles within five years, as part of efforts to go green.

The first batch of 300 electric taxis will arrive progressively in Singapore from July, the transport operator announced in a statement yesterday.

They could include sedans, station wagons and multi-purpose vehicles.

According to the Land Transport Authority in February, SMRT has 1,796 taxis.

"The electrification of the entire taxi fleet is part of SMRT's growth strategy in green businesses under its sustainable urban mobility services arm, Strides Mobility," the company said.

Besides taxis, other mobility services using electric vehicles such as vans, limousines and buses will also be rolled out.

SMRT's transition to cleaner-energy taxis began in 2013 when more than 600 Toyota Prius Hybrid cabs were added. Last year, its fleet became 100 per cent hybrid.

SMRT Road Holdings president Tan Kian Heong said: "In line with Singapore's Green Plan, we are excited to be among the first point-to-point transport operators to commit to the deployment of electric taxis on a large scale."

He added that the move is a key part of the company's plan to incorporate principles of sustainability in its businesses in providing urban mobility services.

On Monday, SMRT-owned Strides Transportation signed a memorandum of understanding with electric motorcycle maker EuroSports Technologies.

It will be appointed as the sole distributor of commercial electric motorcycles in Singapore and the Asia-Pacific.

This range of two-and three-wheelers will be separate from EuroSports' Scorpio brand of premium electric motorbikes, and will be targeted for food delivery and logistics applications.

Ms Tammy Tan, group chief branding and communications officer at ComfortDelGro, said it had similar plans to introduce electric vehicles and had been trialling them, with the intent for mass roll-out once they become commercially viable.

"Close to 60 per cent of our 10,000-strong taxis are petrol-electric hybrids and fully electric, while our public transport subsidiary, SBS Transit, is already operating 20 electric buses," she added.

The company plans to fully replace its taxi fleet with hybrids by 2023 and accelerate the addition of fully electric cabs.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 21, 2021, with the headline 'SMRT on drive for all-electric taxi fleet in five years'. Subscribe