BYD Company Ltd. has added 100 percent electric vehicles to Chile’s taxi fleet in the country’s capital, Santiago. The three zero-emission taxis model e6 are specially designed for passenger transport.
The taxis are operating in Santiago as regular taxis and are part of the first environmental mitigation action by the Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) Green Zone project, according to the automaker.
The BYD e6 taxis are equipped with the company’s proprietary iron-phosphate battery, a fire-safe, completely recyclable and stable battery that grants the vehicle lengthened driving ranges. The batteries require no maintenance and their capacity is 61.4 kWh, and the price of 1 kWh in Chile is around 100 Chilean pesos ($0.14 USD), meaning that it would cost approximately 6,400 Chilean pesos ($9 USD) to fully charge. However, in order to support the testing, Chilectra – a Chilean energy provider – will supply free electricity to these three taxis for the first year. The vehicles can carry up to five passengers. It takes two hours to fully charge and empty battery. The taxis fully comply with safety standards and feature 121 hp motor power, 450 N.m torque, two front air bags, automatic transmission, traction control, stability control, front and rear proximity sensors and smart key. Additional power generation is achieved through regenerative braking. The electric motor attached to the wheels eliminate the need for conventional mechanic components and make the vehicle especially cost-effective by to saving in maintenance and spare parts. In the short term its efficiency represents savings up to 60 percent, according to the automaker.
The electric taxi project was launched by BYD Chile SpA who coordinated and organized the lending of the three e6 – owned by Indumotora and Chilectra – to taxi operators for one year with the purpose of testing the technology and generating data, according to the automaker.
Passengers in downtown Santiago can already ride in the electric taxis, and the green fleet is expected to increase should the project succeed, according to the automaker.