Government reviewing possibilities to green-light Eco-car for taxi use

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BANGKOK, 15 August 2012  – The government is considering to encourage taxi drivers to switch to energy-saving vehicles. 

Deputy Transport Minister Chadchart Sittipunt said on Tuesday that the Transport Ministry is considering to introduce an energy-saving vehicle, known as Eco-car as an alternative for taxi drivers.

According to the current ministerial rules, vehicles used as taxis must have the minimum engine size of 1,500 cc. However, the Eco-car’s engine size is merely 1,300 cc.

Mr. Chadchart said that the Land Transport Department has been assigned to conduct a feasibility study for this initiative and, so far, it is clear that at least 2 sets of ministerial rules are to be amended.

He added that the study also pointed out that the efficiency of the Eco-car as taxi appears more limited than expected. Therefore, he is now not in favor of the policy.

The Deputy Transport Minister also said that the Transport Ministry and the Energy Ministry as well as taxi business operators are in the middle of discussion on the proposed extension of taxi license validity from 9 to 12 years in order to help taxi drivers cope with rising fuel and vehicle costs and the current economic hardship.

A meeting on the issue is set on August 16th, with the conclusion expected within 2 weeks, said Mr. Chadchart.

The Transport Ministry’s data suggested that there are currently 104,239 registered taxis in Thailand.