BYD’s biggest problem in getting a wider reception for the BYD E6 electric taxi is that the car is exceptionally expensive at over 350,000RMB per car, in contrast a taxi spec VW Jetta is circa 80,000RMB, if not cheaper. BYD has so far been limited to the Shenzhen local area where it has over 500 E6 taxis in service on a daily basis, BYD’s next goal is to role those cars out nationwide.
In certain cities New Energy vehicles, which includes EV’s and Hybrids, subsidies of up to 180,000RMB are available but even still, EV’s are a hard sell. BYD’s new plan is to offer financing to overcome the huge start up costs of investing in electric vehicles under a zero buy in, zero cost initiative, the new offer is in conjunction with China’s leading financial institutions and will offer taxi drivers and fleet operators the chance to buy in E6 cabs at zero cost and pay off the amount owed in installments.
According to BYD there are over 500,000 buses in China and 1.2 million taxis which total only 1.7% of vehicles on the road but use 27% of fuel. BYD cites its own taxi fleet in Shenzhen as a model for economic success, according to the companies calculations the average daily cabby is traveling around 450km per day for 353 days per year (with one day off per month for servicing), with fuel at 8RMB per liter and averaging 9L per 100km, Shenzhen’s gasoline taxis are drinking fuel. The E6 on the other hand uses 26kw of electricity per 100km, and with electricity prices averaging 0.66RMB per unit an E6 saves 247RMB over the course of a day, or 7,166RMB per month or over a 5 year period it is saving 326,400RMB over the cost of a gasoline variant in terms of fuel costs.
The new solution gives fleet operators a new buy in cost of just 3,576RMB per month for their vehicle, which should spur on investment in other cities, or at least those cities that have invested in electric charging points.