Bogota C40 Taxi Pilot Project is Electric

The City of Bogota, Colombia, has launched an innovative pilot project to spur the use of electric vehicles in Bogota’s center-city taxi fleet.

"Bogota’s electric vehicle taxi project is a significant achievement, which demonstrates, once again, the city’s clear commitment to transform its transportation sector. As an active member of the C40-CCI Electric Vehicle Network, Bogota has both learned from and contributed to the knowledge of other cities across the network. C40 is about action, and I commend Bogota for taking this decisive step to implement innovative new transport policies that will improve the quality of life in the city and address climate change," says Jay Carson, CEO, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group.

The first taxis are expected to be operational in the city in the next few months. The project was developed in close collaboration with the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) Cities program and its partner the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40); it is a direct result of Bogota’s active participation in the C40-CCI Electric Vehicle Network of 15 global cities, who are collectively addressing the municipal actions critical to the successful introduction of electric vehicles.

"This pilot project is very important countrywide and an example for the world because it sets a path to transform vehicle fleets with low carbon technologies, foster green vehicle market increasing consumers confidence, and opens a wide window for public and private transportation away from pollution and green house gases emissions," said Mr. Felipe Targa, Colombian Vice-Minister of Transportation.

The transportation sector is the largest and fastest-growing source of urban CO2 emissions in the Latin American region, as more people become dependent on motorized transport. Bogota’s project will improve local air quality and noise pollution. Importantly, the conversion to electric vehicle technology is expected to avoid the daily consumption of seven gallons of fossil fuel per vehicle, thereby cutting operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions across the 50-strong taxi fleet by more than 80 percent and 70 percent, respectively.

On December 29, 2011 the City of Bogota enacted Decree No. 677 to support the project over a three-year period. Buttressed by an existing national government policy to impose zero import duty on electric vehicles, this local Decree removes circulation restrictions and permitting requirements for electric vehicle taxis. (Privately-owned electric vehicles will enjoy these same incentives.) The Decree further mandates the Secretary of the Environment and the Secretary of Mobility to consider requirements for monitoring and reporting.

Through its participation in the C40 Electric Vehicle Network, and by working with C40 and CCI technical and market development experts, the City of Bogota has forged partnerships with several industry players in support of the pilot project. Electric vehicle suppliers BYD and Mitsubishi have expressed their commitment to provide e6 and i-MiEV electric cars, respectively. Their local distribution representatives, Praco-Didacol and Motorysa, have also expressed support of the pilot project, helping to secure the confidence of the participating taxi cab companies who will be purchasing the new electric vehicles. The electric utility company, Codensa, will also support the pilot project by providing the required electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) is a global network of the world’s largest and engaged cities committed to implementing meaningful and sustainable climate-related actions locally that will help address climate change globally. 

Fifteen of the world’s largest cities have come together to help to become more electric vehicle-friendly, in collaboration with four leading vehicle manufacturers. The cities of Bogota, Buenos Aires, Chicago, Copenhagen, Delhi, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Mexico City, Toronto, Sao Paulo, Seoul, and Sydney have committed to work collaboratively through the ‘C40 Electric Vehicle Network’ to support the successful introduction of electric vehicles.