BYD has announced that it has delivered an additional 20 of its e6 electric sedans to the existing Montevideo taxi fleet in Uruguay.
Government support of electrified taxis in Uruguay is very impressive. In parallel to efforts to shift the electricity grid to renewable generation, the government offers a $60,000 USD subsidy for a pure electric taxi, which comes as a 50% discount compared to a normal taxi license. The electric vehicles are also exempt from the usual 23% import tax on foreign vehicles coming into the country. Finally, they are also eligible for a $5,000 rebate for a charging system.
All told, the taxis received government subsidies totaling a staggering $100,000 USD each. These subsidies enabled the first electric taxis to make it onto the streets of Montevideo and similarly enabled the recent expansion of the fleet.
The mayor of Montevideo, Eng. Daniel Martinez, is an outspoken EV advocate to the point where he has proclaimed that “Electrified Transportation is the Future.” He not only talks the talk but also walks the walk, as he has an electric car as his official car. To acknowledge his support of the electric taxis, BYD presented one of them to him with the official plates of the mayor on it — “SIM 1.”
The original fleet of 50 electrified Montevideo taxis was commissioned back in 2015 as the country moved to demonstrate the ability to cut fossil fuel emissions from its energy mix.
Uruguay has emerged as a global renewable energy powerhouse — having pushed for and exceeded its target of 90% renewables, the country now averages more than 95% renewables in its electricity mix. This presents the perfect foundation for a transition to electric vehicles that can convert the clean power into cleaner air by replacing fossil-fueled vehicles that would otherwise be cruising around city streets.
The addition of these new BYD e6 taxis is just the latest in a series of moves BYD has made into South America, opening factories in Brazil and installing additional fleets of electrified taxis in Ecuador. The combination of the voluminous supply of renewable energy in the region and local incentives have made for a prime market for BYD.
Images Courtesy: BYD
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