New fully-electric taxis can cover over 200km with 30-min charging

VICTOR LOH Today Online 19 Jul 18;

SINGAPORE — Two fast-charging fully-electric taxis will hit the Singapore roads on Thursday (July 19) as part of a trial by transport giant ComfortDelGro.

Unlike existing electric taxis such as HDT's BYD taxis which take over an hour to charge, ComfortDelGro's Hyundai Ioniq taxis require under 30 minutes for a full-charge.

The taxi can cover over 200km when fully charged, and the cost of charging is only one-third of the price of diesel for the same distance, the company said in a statement on Thursday.

Cabby Lian Chin Hock, who has been driving diesel taxis for 19 years, will be switching from a Hyundai Sonata to the new vehicle, which has a flag-down fare of S$3.90.

He said that the 30-minute charge is not a long wait. "I can clean up the interior of the taxi while it charges. The electricity cost is also just a fraction of what I have to pay for diesel," the 64-year-old said.

ComfortDelGro Taxi chief executive Ang Wei Neng noted that the short charging time is important for its drivers.

"We have been looking for a reliable, safe and faster charging electric vehicle for quite a while now. We wanted one that would offer our cabbies the shortest or fastest charging time because time is of essence to them," said Mr Ang.

A 24-hour charging station for the two fully-electric Hyundai Ioniq taxis is located at Komoco Motors in Alexandra.

Should the trial prove to be successful, ComfortDelGro "will certainly be looking to buy more electric vehicles”, said Ms Tammy Tan, ComfortDelGro’s group corporate communications officer.

The electric Ioniq will also be able to charge its battery with electric energy during deceleration and braking, and even when the vehicle is going downslope.

Like its hybrid counterpart, the fully-electric Hyundai Ioniq taxis share features such as autonomous emergency braking and blind spot detection technologies.