HDT Singapore Taxi could become the first taxi operator in Singapore to operate a fully electric fleet of 100 ‘e-taxi’ cabs. The company uses vehicles from BYD, a Shenzhen based auto firm that is backed by investment guru, Warren Buffet.
HDT is currently awaiting approval from Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) since submitting its application for a taxi license in April.
The company could also be the first taxi operator to offer monthly salaries of $1800 – $3800 to its drivers, a business model HDT is betting on to attract and retain drivers. However, drivers will have to meet a minimum amount of fare revenue that will be retained by the company. Anything more than the minimum will be shared with the driver. It is not known what penalties are involved if drivers do not meet the minimum revenue.
HDT drivers will also enjoy Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions, sick leave, annual leave and a six-day work week. This differs greatly from traditional taxi models where cabbies have to pay for their vehicle rentals whether they drive or not, or find a relief driver on off days.
Cabbies currently face high overheads with rentals of $100-$180 a day and fuel costs and HDT’s e-taxis could provide a more cost efficient solution for taxi drivers. LTA and the Economic Development Board (EDB) had also earlier announced the installation of 2000 charging points across Singapore, making it more convenient for drivers to recharge their electric vehicles.
The electric cars are currently in service with Grab. We expect to see such vehicles becoming commonplace as Singapore pushes forward in the area of green vehicles. When that happens, we would probably see electric vehicles operating Uber services too