May 16 2013, 8:16am CDT | by Sumayah Aamir
BYD Corporation Ltd. has officially announced to launch a first batch of 45, BYD e6 pure-electric taxis on Wednesday during a ceremony held at the Hong Kong Science Park. BYD e6 electric cross-over sedan taxis will be the first all-electric taxi fleet to hit the Hong Kong roads. The electric car has been in the pipeline for so long that it is a wonder that most of the world’s vehicles don’t run on electricity.
Actually these “zap cars” were in existence even in the 70s but they were not very practical to operate on a daily basis. The fuel cells and batteries that were used for driving the engines were a little expensive and carried too much weight. But today we are living in the year 2013 and things have moved on since the seventies generation. A feasible solution has emerged. That is why a whole fleet of BYD
e6 taxis have come about in the city of Hong Kong that will be run on pure electricity. They are in other words not the usual hybrid cars found in the West. They are electric vehicles that won’t make the slightest emission of pollutants.
The crowded conditions in the streets and alleys of Hong Kong have always been an irritant of sorts. The smog, which is smoke plus fog, has caused everything from human diseases to public property damage and is indeed a #1 nuisance. The solution was found when these taxis, which are expected to reach 25% of the city transport vehicle number, will go into operational basis.
By reducing pollution to manageable levels it is hoped that a cleaner, leaner, greener environment will be the inevitable result. Yet like all good things even these actions taken from seemingly pure intentions have their detractors. Some have stated that the claim that the taxis will beat the pollution hassle is sheer nonsense. They say that the argument breaks down under scrutiny.
The allegations are that it costs too much to build electric cars. Then the zero-emissions boast is dismissed off-handedly too. Indirectly due to the extra energy required in the industrial process via which these vehicles get built, the emissions will be there although they will come from other sources. The equation is simple. More energy means more emissions! A car that is green is only as green as the energy it runs on.
The polluting effects of that energy source that went into the making can’t be discounted. Meanwhile, the optimists say that even if this were so, the street emissions are reduced (though the smock stack factory emissions are doubled as a consequence). Who is right? We will know when the electric taxis start making the rounds soon enough on the roads of Hong Kong.
Image Credit: Reuters
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