Date
23 August 2017
These charging points are few and far between. Along with battery life, lack of charging stations is a big problem for operators of e-vehicles. Photo: China.nengyuan.com
These charging points are few and far between. Along with battery life, lack of charging stations is a big problem for operators of e-vehicles. Photo: China.nengyuan.com

What a Beijing taxi driver will say about the e-car

Want to know how good e-cars are? There’s no better person to ask than a taxi driver who makes a living from the environment-friendly vehicle.

Caixin and China Securities Journal talked to groups of Beijing drivers. Battery life and charging facilities are still a big problem.

“Charging points are not enough. If the customers want to go to a distant place, we can’t take them there,” says one.

“We have to spend five to six hours a day queueing and charging. That means we miss a lot of business,” says another.

E-cars are good, comfortable, don’t smell gasoline and offer great savings in fuel cost, but drivers worry about running out of battery power all the time.

Some say they can’t trust the power meter. “My e-taxi should be able to run 150 kilometers on a full charge but during winter, the mileage can easily halve if heating is turned on.”

This greatly restricts their operating area.

The market potential may be huge, as some analysts suggest, but it could take a long time to hit its stride.

Almost all, if not every single major or not-so-major domestic carmaker, say they want to get into this business.

Consider this: Beijing has a bit more than 1,000 e-taxis and the tiny market is shared by four brands.

Hopes are high that German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s China visit will lead to closer ties between the two countries in high-tech industries including new energy cars.

E-car is a hot-selling concept for stock investors but if you look at it from a Beijing driver’s perspective, the green car era has not quite arrived.

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RA

EJ Insight writer

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