BYD has entered into a agreement with Rizen Energy to deliver 1000 electric taxis for use in the city of Bangkok, Thailand. Rizen Energy is a subsidiary of Sharich Holding Company, which is now the official distributor of BYD vehicles in Thailand. Details of the agreement are sparse. The first 100 electric taxis are scheduled to arrive and enter revenue service shortly, with the balance delivered before the end of this year. The BYD cars will be classified as VIP taxis, which allows them to charge higher rates than regular taxis, according to a report in the Bangkok Post.
It is not clear which BYD model will be supplied for the Thai taxi operation, but the best guess is that is will be the BYD e6, a five door sedan already used for taxi service in Ecuador and Singapore. The only known detail is that the cars will have a range of 350 kilometers and can recharge in 40 minutes. They will be eligible for free recharging at Energy Mahanakorn charging stations and receive preferential insurance rates from local insurers.
BYD Battery Recycling Plant In Shanghai
Last month, the Chinese government issued new rules requiring all manufacturers of battery powered vehicles to be responsible for ensuring their batteries do not pollute the environment. Part of that plan calls for recycling of lithium ion batteries. BYD has been experimenting with battery recycling at a test facility near its factory in Shenzen for the past year. Now it says it is building a battery recycling factory in Shanghai that will be opened later this year.
“As a leading EV maker, you have a social responsibility to recycle the battery,” Mia Gu tells Reuters. In addition to keeping discarded batteries out of the environment, valuable raw materials such as lithium and cobalt can be salvaged from old batteries and used to make new ones. At a session of the Chinese parliament that ended this week, delegates were told the first depleted EV batteries are expected to hit the market this year. By 2020, the amount of battery waste is expected to be somewhere between 120,000 and 170,000 tons.