The Shift to Electric Taxis – Why and How SMRT Is Leading This Change

Singapore has announced ambitious targets for 2040 in terms of adopting cleaner and greener energy. The government is planning to phase out internal combustion engine vehicles and adopt electric vehicles (EVs) in the intervening years. The government will offer incentives to drivers and extend the Vehicular Emissions Scheme (VES) to light commercial vehicles. It is planning to offer rebates for early adoption and the revision of road taxes for qualifying vehicles. It also aims to install 60,000 charging points for electric vehicles at various public car parks and private premises across the country by 2030.

In line with the recent changes in policies pertaining to cleaner energy, SMRT (the leading multi-modal transport operator in Singapore) is changing its focus to electric vehicles. The company is planning to change its entire taxi fleet to 100% electric taxis within the next five years.

How SMRT is Planning to Adopt Electric Vehicles
SMRT has ordered its first batch of electric vehicles. Nearly 300 electric taxis will arrive in Singapore by July 2021. The models include sedans, station wagons and multi-purpose vehicles. The reason for ordering different electric vehicle models is that SMRT wants to meet the diverse needs of the market as it evolves. Right now, SMRT is the largest hybrid taxi operator in Singapore as it owns and operates more than 600 Toyota Prius hybrid taxis.

Recently, SMRT’s Strides Mobility signed a Memorandum of Understanding with EuroSports Technologies with an aim to develop, deploy and distribute smart electric motorcycles in the Singaporean region.

“SMRT is among the first point-to-point transport operators to commit to the deployment of electric taxis on a large scale,” SMRT Road Holdings president Tan Kian Heong said.

Why SMRT is Shifting to Electric Vehicles
Being sustainable and adopting cleaner, greener transport systems is an integral part of the company’s operational aspects. The company wants to participate and excel in Singapore’s Green Plan. By deploying electric taxis on a large scale, the company will be able to incorporate principles of sustainability into its business. It wants to bring sustainable urban mobility services to consumers.

SMRT Chairman, Seah Moon Ming, stated, “As stewards of essential public transport assets, we believe in running our business ethically and in a sustainable manner.”

Neo Kian Hong, SMRT CEO, said, “Moving forward, in support of the Land Transport Master Plan 2040’s aim to have cleaner and greener vehicles for a more environmentally sustainable land transport sector, SMRT Taxis will move from our current 100% cleaner, hybrid standard taxi fleet to exploring suitable Electric Vehicle (EV) models.”

SMRT is constantly looking for new ways to enhance its passengers’ experience and safety. It is the first tax operator in Singapore to introduce the Advanced Driving Assist System (ADAS), a fleet-wide booster seat pilot programme for younger passengers, and the Taxi Share programme. Now with the launch of 300 electric vehicles, SMRT has proved that it is at forefront of sustainable mobility solutions. In the coming years, SMRT will add more sustainable mobility services using electric cars, vans, limousines, motorcycles, and buses.

About the Author
Yeong Lee
Yeong is an enthusiast of sustainable development and volunteers in such activities in Singapore. He loves to highlight the efforts taken by the government, companies, and organisations taking sustainable initiatives to make Singapore the best country in the world. When he is not writing, he enjoys reading books and gardening.

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