Carmakers are eyeing an upcoming surge in taxi replacements amid increased efforts by the Hong Kong government to introduce clean energy vehicles, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Friday.
Most Hong Kong taxis will reach the mandatory service cap of 15 years this year or next, opening up a replacement market that could be filled by so-called green vehicles including electric taxis.
These old taxis use catalytic converters and run on conventional fuel, making them major contributors to air pollution.
Only 3,000 old taxis have been replaced, or 17 percent of the total, due to limited units on the market, the report said, citing Ng Kwan-shing, chairman of the Taxi Dealers and Owners Association Ltd.
Forty-five BYD e6 electric taxis are in service, along with a dozen Toyota Prius hybrid vehicles, Ng said.
Some new models may include LPG and gasoline bi-fuel taxis and diesel taxis converted from private cars.
Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. said it is ready to launch its LPG-gasoline hybrids after submitting documents to the Environmental Protection Department.
Last month, the government gave approval for such vehicles to be registered.
Meanwhile, Mazda is retrofitting the Mazda 6, a diesel-powered passenger car, for the taxi market.
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