January 25th, 2013 (InsideCostaRica.com) The Costa Rican government is launching what it calls its “Green Taxis” initiative, under which at least 200 taxi drivers may get the chance to swap their fossil-fuel burning taxis for less polluting, electric vehicles.
The Ministry of Environment and Energy (Minaet) signed an agreement on Monday with Cori Motors Company, part of the Purdy Motor group, which represents automaker, BYD.
The company has already made similar contracts in China, where it has already put 1,000 such taxis on the road, and in Colombia, where about 50 such taxis have been delivered.
Rene Castro, Minister of Environment, said that they have already spoken with business leaders and groups representing taxi drivers about the benefits of the program. Still needed, though, is the installation of public recharging stations for the electric vehicles.
The electric taxis can be purchased for a monthly payment of $1,000, without a down payment. Import duties and taxes will also be waived as part of the program.
A survey conducted by the International Center for Economic Policy (CINPE) of 667 taxi drivers from across the country indicated that 72% would be willing to purchase a vehicle that uses alternative energy.