Clear The Air News Blog Rotating Header Image

May 16th, 2013:

All hail the new e-taxi, unless you’ve got luggage

Thursday, 16 May, 2013, 12:00am

NewsHong Kong


Anita Lam

The long-awaited electric taxis from mainland carmaker BYD will finally start taking passengers tomorrow – after an eight-month delay – but with cabbies already complaining, the question is whether the cars will survive beyond the six-month trial period.

One driver who has signed up for the e6 taxi said at the launch ceremony yesterday that he would not have rented it if it wasn’t for all the concessions on offer from the manufacturer.

“The car trunk is too small for big suitcases, it’s also too high for us to put things in without difficulty, headroom is too low and we cannot see the tip of the bonnet from the drivers’ seat, which makes it hard to gauge the distance to the car ahead,” said Mr Chan.

“But what I hate most is that we can only charge the car with designated chargers built by BYD – that greatly limits our options.”

There are only 17 BYD charging points ready for use, but project partner Sime Darby says more will come into service in the next four months.

In the meantime, there are over 1,000 slow-charging points and 10 quick-charging points for electric cars scattered around the city, which the BYD e-taxis cannot use. “The quick-charging points were built for Japanese cars, while the slow-charging points – even if our cars could use them – are practically useless because it takes more than 10 hours for a full charge,” said Sime Darby’s senior sales manager Eddie Yu. “We are now talking to the government about providing more quick chargers that are compatible with the e6.”

Hong Kong Taxi and Public Light Bus Association, which will pay BYD a monthly rent of HK$360,000 for the 45 taxis and then sublet them to drivers, said they would cover parking costs, and waive a management fee of HK$1,000 for the first month.

The daily rent of BYD’s e6 is some HK$100 higher than that of a brand new liquefied petroleum gas-fuelled taxi. Wong Chung-keung, chairman of the association, said they would soon see if the taxi could really run for 240 kilometres – with air-conditioning on – as BYD has claimed.

The cost of electricity should work out at a third of LPG costs.

Many of the 18,150 taxis in the city are due to be replaced in the next few years, with carmakers all rolling out new models in an effort to capture the market.

The taxi version of Toyota’s hybrid Prius is already out on the roads; Ford will launch its LPG taxis in September; while Nissan’s electric taxis are set to arrive early next year.




Guangdong coastal water quality is declining, with worst areas around Hong Kong

Published on South China Morning Post (

Home > Guangdong coastal water quality is declining, with worst areas around Hong Kong

Guangdong coastal water quality is declining, with worst areas around Hong Kong

Thursday, 16 May, 2013, 12:00am

· NewsChina23bb284cbecd57f225970aaeb775493d.jpg

Sixteen red tides, like this one in Shenzhen, were recorded in Guangdong last year. Photo: SCMP Pictures


Mimi Lau in Guangzhou

Official report from Guangdong says Hong Kong taking much of the brunt of deteriorating conditions

Pollution in Guangdong’s coastal waters continued to worsen last year, mainly in the Pearl River Delta, which affected offshore water quality in Hong Kong.

The steady deterioration of water quality along the province’s coast had not let up, said Li Lei, a spokesman for Guangdong’s Oceanic and Fisheries Administration, in Guangzhou yesterday.

Guangdong’s “Oceanic Environment Report 2012”, published yesterday, said about 6.5 per cent of the province’s offshore water was rated “poorer than category four” – the most polluted – last year. That was about a percentage point more than in 2011.

Most of category four water is concentrated in the Pearl River estuary, with inorganic nitrogen and active phosphate being the main pollutants

“Most of category four water is concentrated in the Pearl River estuary, with inorganic nitrogen and active phosphate being the main pollutants,” Li said.

The report said 910,000 tonnes of pollutants generated on land had been discharged into Guangdong’s coastal waters last year. It said 26,000 tonnes of pollutants found at 28 monitored dumping spots had exceeded permissible pollution-discharge standards by 34 per cent.

Li said 16 red tides occurred in Guangdong last year, the most in five years. The province sees about 10 a year on average.

“The red tides were mainly spotted in the waters of the Pearl River, Daya Bay, Dapeng Bay [known as Mirs Bay in Hong Kong] and waters around Zhanjiang [in the south of the province],” he said.

Li said the problem of pollutants being dumped into the ocean had not been contained and posed a threat to marine life.

The report also named four major industrial polluters found among the province’s 82 monitored discharge stations.

The heaviest polluter was state-owned Guangzhou Paper Group, followed by Jialian Leather (China), Jiangmen City Hongjie Fine Chemical and Guangdong Zhanhua Corporation Group.

Professor Ho Kin-chung, dean of the school of science and technology at The Open University of Hong Kong, said offshore water quality in Hong Kong’s western and southern waters had worsened due to the consistently high pollution found in the Pearl River every year.

“Water around Tuen Mun, northern Lantau Island as well as Stanley, Clear Water Bay and Lamma Island has worsened as a result,” Ho said.

The deterioration had been particularly obvious in southern Hong Kong over the past decade, with total nitrogen rising consistently when the Pearl River was at its dirtiest, he said.




Water Pollution


Hong Kong

Source URL (retrieved on May 16th 2013, 8:37pm):

Fodder for fuel: Brisbane Airport seeks alternative

Download PDF : fodder-for-fuel-brisb