Back in 2016, we were introduced to Hold Dreams Together (HDT) Singapore, after the Land Transport Authority (LTA) confirmed that the electric taxi company was an applicant for phase 2 of their electrical car test-bed.
LTA’s test-bed, which started in 2011, was testing the viability of electric taxis, buses, and carpooling services in Singapore.
Not much was known about HDT Singapore then, only that it was the Singapore agent of Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer Build Your Dreams (BYD) Co. Ltd.
BYD was known for their e6 electric cars, which were said to have a range of 300km per full charge, with each charge taking 20 to 30 minutes to complete.
Then, HDT was operating a private hire fleet of 30 electric cars in Singapore, and consumers who were curious could book a ride using the Grab app.
If HDT proved to be successful, they “might become first ever taxi operator with a fully electrical fleet,” we mused.
After 2 Years, HDT Has Officially Become Our 7th Taxi Operator
Just yesterday, LTA announced that HDT has received its taxi service operator license, which will take effect today (1 Aug) and last for 10 years.
With the license, HDT has effectively become Singapore’s 7th taxi operator.
“HDT’s business proposal, company organisational structure, past performance records and financial capabilities have demonstrated the company’s business viability and ability to operate a full-fledged taxi service,” said LTA.
HDT will be required to operate “at least 800 electric taxis” within 4 years of receiving the license, and needs to “convert its existing fleet of electric taxis, and register them as regular taxis by 31 Aug”.
HDT’s current fleet of 100 electric taxis, classified as ‘research vehicles’ will no longer be tax-exempt.
On top of that, HDT will also need to ensure that there are sufficient charging stations islandwide to support its fleet.
In an interview with Channel NewsAsia, HDT managing director James Ng revealed that they currently have 75 charging points in 10 areas around Singapore.
The electric taxis would also be rolled out in phases, with 200 electric taxis being added to the fleet each year in the next 4 years.
HDT Will Be Keeping To Its Employment Practices
Just last year, HDT drew much attention from drivers and consumers because of its attractive employee package, which includes a basic salary, CPF contributions, a 6-day work week and even annual and medical leave.
HDT revealed that it will still carry on with its unconventional practice of employing drivers (taxi operators typically rent out vehicles for a daily rate) moving forward.
According to The New Paper, HDT’s taxi drivers get a starting monthly pay of $1,900 (inclusive of CPF contributions), and will get to earn a gross salary of $3,400 (with CPF) if they hit a monthly revenue target of $7,250.