Originally published on CleanTechnica.
BYD has rolled out the largest fleet of electric taxis in Ecuador, thanks to the City of Loja purchasing 30 BYD e5 taxis.
The purchase of the electric taxis was initiated by a local community-driven effort that secured government funding to finance the purchase. The community-driven effort speaks to deep environmental roots in the Loja region, which initiated a recycling program in the 1990s and more recently an installation of wind turbines to generate clean, renewable electricity.
The Mayor of Loja, Bolivar Castillo, took a moment to thank the activists in the community for their efforts to connect the electric taxi idea, BYD, and local leaders in an effort to catalyze the adoption of the “Eco Taxi.”
“This demonstrates that the people of Loja are not afraid to try new things. Cities like ours will pave the way for others to follow.”
BYD Business Manager of BYD E-Motors Ecuador, Jorge Burbano, shared a similar sentiment while also noting strong support from local government and financial officials in the region:
“The strong support from the government and the development bank Corporación Financiera Nacional shows united effort to create a sustainable living environment. We are impressed by their conviction and perseverance to make EcoTaxis a reality.”
When Ecuador signed the Paris Agreement on climate change, it was fully committed to deliver on its promises. The purchase of the 30 BYD e5s for use as taxis are a meaningful step in that direction and results in a direct reduction in emissions, especially since 43.6% of Ecuador’s electricity is generated from renewable sources.
Ecuador’s electricity mix has been transforming over the last few decades and now sits with 42% of its power capacity coming from hydropower and another ~13% coming from wind, solar, biomass, and steam turbines. In parallel to the conversion to renewables, Ecuador has invested heavily in its high-voltage transmission infrastructure, which opens up options in other regions and supports the intermittent nature of renewables.
This latest integration of these 30 BYD e5s into Loja is merely the latest of many around the world. It continues to lead the charge for plug-in vehicles for mass transit and fleet applications, which, while they see less attention from global mainstream media, are making an important impact on emissions around the world. BYD’s buses eliminate noxious diesel emissions in some of the most densely populated cities in the world, while BYD e5 and e6 taxis eliminate non value-add idling that is so common amongst taxis in cities.
Ecuador may be the latest country in Latin America to take a step towards a renewable future, but it is impressive to note that every country in Latin America signed the Paris Agreement.
The video below provides an overview of the installation (in Spanish).
Reprinted with permission.