A couple of weeks ago we shared the news of the amazing technology of driverless cars in the streets of Singapore offering free rides to commuters. Though driverless is not quite here yet, we welcome another leap in the automotive technology as completely electronic taxis are about to hit the roads as soon as early next month.
HDT Singapore Taxi, a new operator in the field shared how the roll-out was actually delayed for a month due to some glitches they were ironing out but were happy to announce that the taxis will finally be ready early next month.
Per James Ng (HDT Singapore Taxi’s managing director), the glitches were actually surrounding a unique system for driver management that will allow taxi’s to keep track of fair income and targets full-time employed drivers.
The First 10 to Hundred
According to Mr. Ng, a fleet of 10 will be the first to hit the roads. They will be manufactured by auto and battery maker BYD (Build Your Dreams) based in Shenzen. This fleet of 10 will be expected to ramp up gradually to complete a 100 units by next year.
This e-taxi project by HDT is part of the electronic-vehicle (EV) test bed that the government has been working on, though Mr. Ng has still had to cover costs for operations, that include mobile payment systems and a contact center for support.
The project is still in trial phase so production will be limited to 100 for now, with licenses to operate valid for 8 years.
Needs for the Road
The e-taxi’s will be supported by a contact center, and of course charging stations will need to be in place to recharge these e-taxi’s.
Mr. Ng shares that HDT will need approximately 40 charging stations that will each cost about $20,000. They have 26 stations set-up so far.
They’ve got the auto and stations, now who’s going to drive?
There is tough competition for HDT from services offered by Uber and Grab, but Mr.Ng isn’t too worried about it, they have actually already hired 10 drivers already. He feels that it’s an opportunity to reel in drivers as they are assured a fixed salary and are trained well for the job.
E-Taxi Drivers are offered a base salary of $1,600 a month but with hitting monthly revenue targets they can earn up to $3,200. If they exceed given targets they can qualify for HDT’s profit sharing program.
The charge for e-taxis are higher than the normal 22-cent meter charge from regular taxis. A 22Km ride could cost and additional $1.80 when compared.
But some commuters are willing to forego the higher rate as they appreciate a quieter ride while also helping with the environment.
Still the Choice for Comfort & Safety
Advancement in technology can’t be helped. It’s the future that we are driving to, and if it’s one that helps with our environment it’s one that deserves our support.
E-taxis could also be a future for SGMaxi, we are always ready to be the best. As this technology is still on trial, we are centered in offering the best transportation with comfort, safety and reliability for our customers.
Our Maxi Cabs and Mini buses are all maintained to the highest standards in both comfort and safety, and are driven by our well-trained and professional drivers. So you can be sure your ride will just be as quiet, convenient and safe.
You can also always be sure that any important cargo you take with you will be secured in our vehicles, with our drivers ready to support you in loading and loading them.
So if you’re looking for the best and most reliable ride for your trips and destination, SGMaxi is a click or a call away.