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Things Are Getting Real: S'pore's First Electric Taxi Fleet HDT Will Hit The Roads In October

Electric cars are the new black and almost anyone has taken up the idea of using such cars. From the United States to Europe, many have started using them. Though Singapore may be a little late, we have finally hopped on to the bandwagon of these battery powered cars, with the government recently announcing the first island-wide electric car-sharing programme BlueSG.

Adding on to that, the country is even rolling out its first ever fleet of electric taxis next month in October!

The Newbie In Town – Starting With Just 10 e-taxis First

So here’s what we know about the new electric taxi fleet. Called Hold Dreams Together (HDT) e-taxis, the company will be the newest player to the taxi game in Singapore when it rolls out its etaxis next month. HDT will join the other five taxi fleets once business starts, but will be the only one to offer cars that do not run on gasoline.

In June, LTA confirmed that HDT was the sole applicant for phase 2 of their electrical car test-bed which started in 2011. HBT is expected to send out ten e-taxis to the roads in October as a start. These cars are manufactured by Shenzhen-based battery and automaker Build Your Dreams (BYD). The goal of HDT is to be operating 100 of these taxis by 2017.

A BYD e6 taxi in Singapore with partner Grab's logo/ Image credit: Mashable
A BYD e6 taxi in Singapore with partner Grab’s logo/ Image credit: Mashable

Pay A Little More To Save The Earth

These electric taxis do come with a price of course – and that is about 3 cents more for every 400m.

As reported in The Straits Times, Managing Director of HDT, James Ng informs that the flag-down fare will be $3.90, with a rate of 25 cents for every 400m for the first 10km and 350m subsequently.

Taxi fare in a normal cab in Singapore/ Image credit: johnnyjet.com
Taxi fare in a normal cab in Singapore/ Image credit: johnnyjet.com

James explains that despite the extra cost commuters will face, they will get to enjoy the experience of riding in an electric car that is said to be more comfortable as well as quieter than a normal taxi. Furthermore, they get to save the earth while doing so.

Singapore’s First Electric Vehicle Transport Provider

HDT started as a startup in 2013. Their aim is to create an environmentally-friendly business with zero emission electric vehicles that runs on low fuel and energy costs. The company currently has about 30 e-cars that are available to commuters through Grab.

On top of just providing taxi services, HDT also provide eBusses and eForklifts, which run cheaper than those who use petrol. HDT’s vehicles being battery operated require charging stations.

As HDT’s e-taxis are part of an endeavour, they are only able to roll out a maximum of 100 cars as a trial and are only able to operate them for up to eight years.

Using Less Effort To Go Green

Grab partnered with HDT to use their electric taxis/ Image credit: HDT Facebook
Grab partnered with HDT to use their electric taxis/ Image credit: HDT Facebook

The fact that these electric taxis are a green initiative should inspire Singaporeans to be more welcoming to the idea of riding in the cars. Not much effort is exerted on the commuters part to go green. All they have to do is sit, enjoy the ride and possibly pay a few more dollars to save the earth.

Unlike other initiatives such as recycling which ensures much more effort, these etaxis are a much easier way to help save our planet.

Hopefully the response to HDT’s new taxis in October are positive, so that in the next few years there’d probably be a lot more of them driving around in Singapore.

I know that I’d definitely be one of the first to take a ride on the electric taxis.

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