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Mar 23, 2023 / 10:10

Hanoi's taxi companies seek permission to operate electric cars

Advances in technology may be the key to solving the problems faced by local taxi companies.

Hanoi-based taxi companies are seeking permission from the Government and the Hanoi authorities to allow the import and use of electric cars.

G7 taxis stop at a local park in Hanoi. Photo: Tuan Anh/The Hanoi Times

The electric car helps reduce environmental pollution by consuming clean energy, which is now the global vibe, said chairman of the Hanoi Taxi Association Nguyen Cong Hung.

The Covid-19 pandemic, the growth of ride-hailing technology applications, and rising fuel prices are some of the factors impacting traditional cab firms, Hung said at a meeting on March 21.

"Several taxi companies are being dissolved and their assets sold because they are operating at a loss," Hung said.

"Domestic cab companies need a new form of business operation to adapt to the global development of technology and transportation," he added.

"Modern technologies, especially electric vehicles, could be the key to the recovery of Vietnamese cab firms."

Nguyen Anh Quan, general director of G7 Taxi Corporation, said the use of electric cars could help Hanoi's cab firms compete with technology-based ride-hailing service providers.

The biggest headache is the purchase prices of electric vehicles. "If electric cars are too expensive, it will take longer for cab firms to recoup their investments."

"High costs would drive up fares, which could make it difficult for traditional cab companies to compete in the market," he said.

Ho Quoc Phi, vice chairman and secretary general of the Hanoi Taxi Association, said electric cars are the future of the global automobile industry, with a less negative impact on the environment than gasoline-powered vehicles.

"Electric cars are easy to recharge and don't require oil and coolant changes. This makes them highly durable, safe and silent," he said.

The stable price of electricity is another strength for considering electric vehicles, Phi added.
Pham Chi Trung, a member of the National Assembly's Committee on Science and Technology, said the National Assembly and the Government agree with the idea of using electric vehicles for taxi services.

This could be a good way to transform and improve transportation and urban development, he said.

"Besides its negative impact, the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the growth of online services," Trung said.

"If Hanoi taxi companies are able to explore the advances to transform their operations, they will increase their market competitiveness, improve public awareness of environmental protection, and help State legislators and agencies finalize the regulatory system for electric vehicles."

According to Nguyen Cong Hung, chairman of the Hanoi Taxi Association, several taxi firms in Hanoi have been testing electric cars, and there are already initial evaluations.

He said that Mai Linh Taxi Corp has negotiated to import thousands of electric cars for domestic use.

"My association will seek advice from electric car manufacturers in Vietnam and other countries and submit a plan to the Hanoi People's Committee, ministries and the government," he said.

On March 6, Vietnamese conglomerate Vingroup announced the establishment of GSM (Green-Smart-Mobility) JSC to promote green transportation and growth.

GSM will lease its electric motorcycles and cars to ride-hailing and traditional taxi companies to promote their operations. It expects to be fully operational by April 2023. The company is capable of providing 100,000 electric motorcycles and 10,000 electric cars.