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BYD-Antioquia Commercial Director Juan Felipe Velásquez (left); 'Tax Belen' taxicab fleet General Manager Juan David Lopera (right) BYD-Antioquia Commercial Director Juan Felipe Velásquez (left); 'Tax Belen' taxicab fleet General Manager Juan David Lopera (right) Source: BYD

Medellin Expands Zero-Emissions Transport; Restrictions Mount on Conventional Vehicles

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Medellin and its neighboring suburbs expanded “pico y placa” driving restrictions on all conventional combustion-engine cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles to nine hours daily for the week of March 2-9, because of worsening air pollution.

The only personal transport vehicles exempted from such driving restrictions are electric cars, along with Medellin’s “Metro” electrified railcar system, the expanding “Metrocable” electric-powered aerial tram system, an incipient electric-powered roadway tram system, the upcoming expansion of pure-electric “Metroplus” electric buses this year, and free zero-emissions bicycles at Metro rail stations.

What’s more, Medellin debuted its first all-electric taxicab on March 3 -- right on the heels of the debut of the “Line M” Villa Hermosa-Buenos Aires aerial tram system on February 28.

“Line M,” serving 350,000 people in northeastern districts, is the fifth aerial-tram system now operating in Medellin, with a sixth coming in a few more months.

All these moves are further signs of the upcoming conversion to zero-emissions transport modes for Medellin -- and likely for many other global cities facing similar air-pollution problems.

On the taxi front, the “Tax Belén” cab company debuted its first BYD all-electric cab this month – exempt from “pico y placa” driving restrictions.

Medellin hopes to see as many as 1,500 electric taxis over the next few years. But the relatively high cost of electric-car acquisition today -- compared to cheaper, conventional gasoline-powered taxis -- is the key sticking point (see Medellin Herald 09/27/2018).

“Tax Belén, one of the largest taxi companies in Medellín with more than 2,300 cabs, will be in charge of operating these public-service cars, while BYD will provide after-sales service and will contribute its experience as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of electric vehicles,” according to BYD.

“Fuel savings compared to other combustion vehicles will be approximately 70% and operating costs will be 50% lower than natural-gas or gasoline taxis,” according to BYD.

BYD claims that range-between-recharge should be around 400 kilometers, while fast-charge stations can recharge the vehicle in 90 minutes.

 

Read 263 times Last modified on Last modified on March 07 2019

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Medellin Herald is a locally produced, English-language news and advisory service uniquely focused upon a more-mature audience of visitors, investors, conference and trade-show attendees, property buyers, expats, retirees, volunteers and nature lovers.

U.S. native Roberto Peckham, who founded Medellin Herald in 2015, has been residing in metro Medellin since 2005 and has traveled regularly and extensively throughout Colombia since 1981.

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