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What if I wanted to make a Tesla Taxi?

Discussion in 'Hong Kong' started by mchk, Jun 13, 2014.

  1. mchk

    mchk Member

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    I was thinking, what if I wanted to buy a Tesla or 2, a more stripped down bare bones one, and then get a Taxi License?

    Wouldn't it be cool to get a ride in a Tesla Taxi?

    I'm sure if you could get a Tesla setup as a taxi, just by word of mouth and some publicity that Taxi would be booked all day everyday!!! And you wouldn't feel guilty if it's running 7 days a week 12-16 hours a day, as there are no emissions!!

    I personally wouldn't be the taxi driver, but I would consider buying a tesla and marrying it with a guy with a taxi license. Heck if it took off as a business I would get another and another, But even if not, I think it would be a cool novelty.



    But I did a little tiny research and saw getting a taxi license seems pretty tough. And this article talks about it as you buy the car and the license together....

    Investors Turn Hong Kong’s Red Taxis Into New Bubble Market - Bloomberg


    Does anyone know if you could buy a tesla and buy a license (that's separate from the Red Toyota taxis?)

    Sorry if this topic has been discussed before, I didn't see it.
     
  2. shelbri

    shelbri Member

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  3. CCT

    CCT Member

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    There are several approved models on the road today that have been approved by the Government. Before you start your Tesla taxi joint, you first need to get the Tesla Model S approved by TD. If you succeed, you can then proceed to obtain taxi licenses for your fleet i.e. buy on the Taxi Exchange or privately from the 18,138 available.

    However, even with a Tesla, you still charge customers the same fares as with a Crown Comfort. But the price difference between the two vehicles may be rather huge, which may mean a longer payback period even with less fuel and maintenance costs.
     
  4. mchk

    mchk Member

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    Excellent information.

    I was told a normal red taxi Toyota is about 300k. The tesla is 500k at basic?

    so that 200k difference how much extra is the toyota costing to run monthly? 10k? I dont know. But that would take 2 years then to even out with the ice toyota.

    I think the license is tough 6 or 7 million? To get one on the market?

    - - - Updated - - -

    My cousin in Singapore loves this app. He uses it a lot.
     
  5. CCT

    CCT Member

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    Yes, around 6M up for a license alone...

    Don't think Uber has any place here in HK though. We got our own HKTaxi which everybody uses nowadays and I think in Southeast Asia in general they use GrabTaxi instead. Obviously on the Mainland we got 快的打車 (Kuaidadi) and 嘀嘀打車 (didiTaxi).
     
  6. DITB

    DITB Charged.hk co-founder

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    I don't think Uber is allowed in Hong Kong. It probably cannot be classed as "limo service" but rather as a genuine taxi, and as such they cannot bypass having a taxi license.

    http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/06/11/taxi-protests-against-uber-in-europe-to-snarl-traffic/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

    It's a hot subject in Europe at the moment. I do believe it is downright illegal in some countries, where taxi services are highly regulated - and I think Hong Kong is one of them. In other countries, it meets various levels of resistance. One one hand, I do appreciate the competition, on the other hand, a minimum service level and certification is desired. Having said that, I have tried taxis on countless occasions where you must believe that "certification" and whatever course and tests it might require is in vain. Hong Kong included, my god there are some lousy drivers out there. Sure we all have to be new some time at something, but "comfort" it seems, is not part of the syllabus for whatever training and testing those drivers get (!!!)

    Whenever I can, I call a BYD electric taxi - when I need one - to maximise their business opportunities. Although far from Tesla standard, it's still a pure EV and I want them to have all the credit they deserve. Call Albert on 6627 5744, he speaks both English and Cantonese, and has contact to a network of some of those BYD taxis. You can negotiate 5-10% discount, depending on the distance, but he won't do shorter trips unless he happens to be very close to you.
     
  7. mchk

    mchk Member

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    This is another reason I think a Tesla COULD be a cool taxi. If it can get 500km in one charge that takes care of the complaint about some taxi EV drivers that complain they have too much downtime recharging. Also, giving the customer an option!

    If you could chose between a loud gas emitting taxi, and a smooth quiet, no emissions taxi, I'm sure there's a niche that would go for the Tesla. And people like DITB go the extra mile to find an EV taxi!

    Also, I'm not sure how this works, but I always thought of it just as a "tip". Have you ever been stuck in the rain with no taxi in sight and called up a taxi and told them you'd pay an extra $40hkd if they could just come and pick you up?

    I also once LANDED right before the Typhoon 8 Signal went up, and by the time I walked out of the airport express the Typhoon 8 was raised. I literally had no way to get home at 12AM but had my secretary call up a taxi service and told them I'd pay them $100HKD extra to show up at the MTR exit and take me home. Without that I'm not sure how I would have gotten home that evening. It wasn't feasible to walk up a mountain dragging a couple of suitcases behind me for 2 hours during a Typhoon.

    I have a friend in Sai Kung that uses the same taxi to the airport always. He has a set fee, and he loves it. He says there's no loud intercom static, no loud talk radio, no loud mobile phone conversations, and the car has curtains and it's a quiet peaceful journey. So there are a few drivers out there that understand customer service and how to make a niche for themselves.

    I'm not saying I would expect consistent extra $$$ in tips for an EV Tesla car, but I could see it developing a strong customer base and without needing to stop every few hours for recharging may result in better ROI than the BYD taxi.

    I guess it's a dream unless one can get a Tesla APPROVED by the govt and has $6 or $7 million to spare to get a license.
     
  8. ck1116

    ck1116 Member

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    I really hope Tesla won't be used as Taxi, because I don't want to feel like I am a Taxi driver when driving my Model S or X.
     
  9. mchk

    mchk Member

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    I don't think the Model X would ever be viable. I think Model S is a stretch, more me dreaming, but possible the "E" or whatever it's called, the so called, affordable low-cost version, many years from now could be possible.
     
  10. DITB

    DITB Charged.hk co-founder

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    I used the usual BYD taxi today, for a longer round trip. Good Coast - Wan Chai (two places) - Tuen Mun. His power meter was at 77% when he picked us up, and finished on 66% when the meter was showing 386 or something (before toll charges). He had lots of power left to drive it. This guy drives his rented BYD 7 days a week, mainly to and from the airport, and he sleeps in the car in the airport.

    Support EV taxis, call Albert on 6627 5744 (Speaks English and Cantonese). Since his network of other BYD taxis is small, he often cannot do the trip but at least, we offer him and his BYD colleagues the business first.
     
  11. DITB

    DITB Charged.hk co-founder

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    In many countries in Europe, a majority of taxis are Mercedes Benz. That doesn't stop private buyers from buying MB.
     
  12. bonaire

    bonaire Active Member

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    It is ironic for that because when I first looked at Uber's web site, they based background pictures on down town Hong Kong. Great city shots, mainly in black and white. Now, they have changed it.
     
  13. GSP

    GSP Member

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  14. mchk

    mchk Member

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    I saw an ad today that UBER is released in Hong Kong.

    Supposedly they did a soft launch during rugby sevens, and now are launching into HK.

    I think Uber would have mild success in HK, but I don't think it would take over and cause Taxis in HK to go out of business.

    From what the people that tell me that use UBER is for:

    #1) Convenience
    #2) Inexpensive
    #3) Great customer service.


    And the thing is, HK taxis for the most part are fairly convenient to find, relatively inexpensive (especially compared to some other cities), and....well 2 out of 3 aint bad...Customer service is definitely a mixed bag.


    But for reason #1 and #2, I don't think UBER would damage the life of a Taxi driver.


    The only time I think people have a hard time finding a taxi are
    #1) BAD WEATHER
    #2) During/after an event. Yes during the rugby 7's finding a taxi can be difficult. Or walking out of an expo/show/concert with several thousand people...Ya a Taxi could be tough that moment..But usually I arrange transportation during those times, or I sometimes suggest we walk to a place for dinner/drinks and grab a taxi after the rush.

    So I could see those 2 times UBER being useful and and maybe in remote areas and other situations. But I don't think Uber would just take over and make taxi's irrelevant.

    - - - Updated - - -

    That's very cool!!
     
  15. DITB

    DITB Charged.hk co-founder

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    So Uber is actually legal in HK then?

    Personally, the reasons I would use a service like Uber in HK would be

    1) Ability to ask for an electric car (if this is possible with Uber)

    2) Have a driver which values comfort and safety, so you are not holding on to the handrails in turns, and braking/acceleration is moderated as far as possible.

    I don't care if they wear a tuxedo or shorts and T-shirt, and they don't need to hold the door for me, unless I am really carrying a lot of items.
     
  16. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Member

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    Doh! lx3h beat me to it! I was going to mention the Model S taxi in Sweden.
     
  17. DITB

    DITB Charged.hk co-founder

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  18. mchk

    mchk Member

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    That is excellent!


    I was thinking....If You have a Tesla HK taxi, and the taxi gets 30 passengers per day. In a week that's 210 people who MAY NEVER have heard or seen an Electric car in Hong kong. You could potentially be exposing people to something they never realize existed. And maybe 10% of those passengers are car buyers who are seeing what a futuristic 21st century car looks like. And of those 21, maybe 4-5 realize they'd rather be driving a cool EV car then the old ICE dinosaur they have and go for a test drive. And maybe 1 of those decides to buy a Tesla from that experience. (that's 50+ new Teslas in a year!)

    You could potentially be adding future Tesla car owners just from the exposure of the experience. And it's all with ZERO advertising, ZERO marketing, just driving around and giving people a completely new experience. I'm sure when a customer sits in the car for the first time, they'd be shocked when they see the giant tablet, the quiet, or when the driver pops open the frunk to put in their luggage and they see the engine is missing!!
     
  19. Teo

    Teo Banned

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