The city of Beijing could convert its entire taxi fleet from petrol-powered cars to electric vehicles in a bid to reduce air pollution.
That is the goal of a draft work program on air pollution control for Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei and surrounding areas this year in a move which could cost approximately 9 billion yuan (about R17-billion), reports National Business Daily.
There are almost 70 000 petrol taxis in Beijing and the plan says that alongside replacing all the existing taxis with EVs, all new taxis to hit the streets must be electric.
At this point it’s not clear if and when this draft will be passed as law, as the city will also require huge investments in its charging infrastructure to support 70 000 new EVs on the streets. It is reported that when Beijing added 200 electric vehicles to its taxi fleet in 2014, some drivers had to wait for up to six hours at charging stations.
According to research from the University of California approximately 1.6 million people die in China every year because of polluted air.