In a bid to battle its air pollution, the city of Beijing could convert its entire taxi fleet from petrol-powered cars to electric vehicles.
That is the goal of a draft work program on air pollution control for Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei and surrounding areas this year in a move which could cost approximately 9 billion yuan ($1.3 billion), reports National Business Daily.
There are almost 70,000 petrol taxis in Beijing and the plan says that alongside replacing all the existing taxis with EVs, all new taxis to hit the streets must be electric.
While it is currently unclear if and when this draft will be passed as law, the city will also require huge investments in its charging infrastructure to support an additional 70,000 EVs on the streets. It is reported that when Beijing added 200 electric vehicles to its taxi fleet in 2014, some drivers had to wait for up to six hours at charging stations.
Physicists at the University of California assert that approximately 1.6 million people die in China because of polluted air every year.