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Asian Development Bank

50 climate solutions from cities in the People's Republic of China


Taiyuan, the largest city in Shanxi province, has moved to cut street-level air pollution by replacing the extensive taxi fleet with iconic new electric vehicles.

Since January 2016, Taiyuan has undertaken one of the world’s most extensive electric vehicle overhaul projects. In just eight months, the city replaced all of its 8,292 taxis with electric vehicles, making it the fastest city to have replaced its entire taxi fleet with electric vehicles. The taxis currently rely on more than 2,000 units of 40-kW high-power charging outlets for taxi use, and the city will also install 18 towers capable of providing power to 7,200 taxis simultaneously. By June 2016, 8,000 tons of CO2 emissions were saved thanks to the fleet.


According to national regulations, the city’s conventional taxis have to be replaced with new vehicles in the years 2015 and 2016. Taiyuan took advantage of the deadline to usher in the new electric vehicle fleet. By swapping the internal combustion taxis for their electric counterparts, the city will significantly improve air quality; the municipality estimates reductions of 21,176 tons of CO2 , 2,451 tons of HC, and 3,478 tons of NOx per year.

A new fleet of electric taxis in Taiyuan.
Taiyuan has become the fastest city in the world to replace its entire conventional taxi fleet to electric vehicles.

The Challenge

Taiyuan is an industrial city where poor air quality adversely affects the daily lives of its citizens. Vehicle emissions are a big contributor to the poor air quality, accounting for about 16% of PM2.5 and 14% of PM10 in the city. Taiyuan’s new electric vehicle fleet has reduced tailpipe and CO2 emission levels and helped increase investments in the EV industry.


Economic Since the start of the project, taxi op- erators, in total, have been able to save about CNY11.8 million in operating costs.

Environmental In the eight service years of the vehi- cles’ lifetime, 1.78 million tons of CO2 emissions will be saved.

Health Reductions in CO, HC, and NOx , thanks to the full fleet overhaul, will improve air quality and help reduce the incidence of respiratory diseases.

Social The new electric vehicle fleet has received a significant amount of public support, and citizens have helped to promote the program.