BYD Co. beat Renault and Nissan to win a tender in Brussels for supplying local operators with 50 electric-powered-taxis. Thirty-four BYD e6 cars were bought by taxi operators in Brussels. Luigi Marrocco, chief executive of Taxis Bleus, remarked that while he would want a European brand than a Chinese one, BYD showed its EV taxis were above those of Nissan and Renault in terms of size, comfort and range.
He disclosed that Taxis Bleus bought 13 BYD e6 cars, one Renault Zoe and three Nissan Leafs.
The taxi company, however, dismissed Tesla Motors Inc.'s Model S as too expensive. Taxis Bleus operates 320 cabs in Brussels. The transaction could be a blow to Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn, who has been trying to find buyers for its Renault Zoe and Nissan Leaf EVs. As for BYD, the number of e6s ordered might be small, but defeating Renault and Nissan in its home region could be a boost.
The e6 could travel up to 300km (190 miles) on a single charge – double the range that the Renault Zoe has at 150 km. Marc Debont, a spokesman for the Brussels regional government, remarked that while the BYD e6 at EUR48,000 ($61,000) is more expensive than conventional cars, its fuel savings offset the additional cost in just four years.
Pascal Smet, minister for mobility and public works in the Brussels region, said in BYD's statement that the government is delighted in helping bring BYD’s zero-emission vehicles to its taxi fleet, as these EVs will help contribute to efforts in cutting air pollution in Brussels. [source: Bloomberg.com]