A new charging station for Bogota’s electric taxis has opened in Colombia’s capital, reported financial magazine Dinero on Friday.The new taxi station, located in the center of the city, will be open 24-hours a day and have 13 charging bays, the magazine reported.
This is the third charging station put up so far by Codensa, a Colombian power distribution company, which has already spent over $400,000 on the first two, with an additional $500,000 pledged for this year.
In December 2012, Bogota Mayor Gustavo Petro announced the introduction of Bogota’s first electric taxi fleet. The trial consisted of 50 electric taxis as part of a pilot scheme that Petro claimed “allows the renewal of the [city’s] taxi fleet, which is contaminated with toxic waste.”
Powered by rechargeable batteries, the new taxis emit 80% less greenhouse gases, and accordingly, reduce fuel costs significantly. A normal taxi spends about $33 to travel 155 miles within the city, whereas the same distance in an electric cab requires only $6 of expenses, according to the El Espectador newspaper.
Ahead of the curve
At the time of the roll-out, Bogota was one of the only major international cities to experiment with electric cabs. Though the project was announced in 2012, the cabs did not begin servicing the city until September 2013.
Mexico City brought in a similar fleet in 2011, as did Shenzhen, China in 2010, while the first electric taxis in London arrived in July 2013.
Bogota is notorious for its high levels of smog and aerial contamination, which studies show can lead to an array of chronic health problems, including asthma.
So far, the 26 vehicles already in operation have traveled some 397,677 miles, saving 165,346 lbs of CO2 emissions in the process, as well as 49% of gasoline costs for drivers, according to Dinero.
“The change to electric taxis has been positive from every point of view,” said Orlando Bogoya, a cab owner. “The savings on gas is significant. Now I spend almost half what I used to on gasoline.”
On a national level, Colombia recently passed a law that will incentivize green innovation in other business sectors by eliminating tariffs for renewable energy technology parts and taxes on green energy expenditures.
- Entra en servicio una electrolinera (Dinero)
- Próximo diciembre entran en funcionamiento 50 taxis eléctricos (El Espectador)