Billionaire Slim eyeing electric taxi to reduce pollution in Mexico City

May 26, 2017
259 Views

Giant Motors, an automaker partially owned by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, is working on a prototype electric taxi to replace the gas-guzzling cabs polluting Mexico City’s air, a company executive said.

Giant has partnered with electric vehicle maker Moldex, a unit of Mexican breadmaker Grupo Bimbo (BIMBOA.MX), and four Mexican universities to produce the environmentally friendly car that will eventually replace part of Mexico City’s more than 130,000 registered cabs, said Elias Massri, chief executive of Giant Motors Latinoamerica.

“We’re developing the prototypes and hope to finish them this year to find a viable solution, an electric vehicle, that genuinely replaces gasoline-using cars,” Massri said in an interview.

A thick haze periodically descends on Mexico City, the Western Hemisphere’s largest megalopolis, irritating eyes and throats and prompting authorities to issue health warnings and force cars off the streets.

Air quality in Mexico City, home to an estimated 5.4 million vehicles, has been particularly poor in recent weeks.

“The peculiar challenge with taxis in Mexico City is that they often ride around with no passenger, looking for a fare,” said Massri. That means the electric taxis need to boast fast-charging batteries that can last, he added.

Over the last few years Giant Motors and Moldex have developed and sold 500 light-weight, electric cargo trucks capable of handling up to a one tonne load. Massri said the experience has given them a platform for the taxi project.

Slim’s Grupo Financiero Inbursa (GFINBURO.MX) has a 50 percent stake in Giant Motors.

In February, Giant Motors and China’s Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group Co Ltd (JAC Motors) (600418.SS), along with distributor Chori Co Ltd (8014.T), said they would invest some $210 million to build SUVs at a plant in the central state of Hidalgo.

Giant Motors and JAC aim to be producing some 10,000 vehicles per year at the Hidalgo plant within four years, said Massri. Passenger cars will account for 70 percent of total output and the remainder will be commercial trucks.

Initially, the Giant Motors-JAC Motors joint venture will focus on selling to Mexico’s growing domestic market, with an eye to expanding into other Latin American nations, Massri said.

(Reuters: Reporting by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)





Get our best news stories straight into your inbox!

Enter your email address below:

Don't worry, we don't spam!



You may be interested

Manos del Mundo will bring 300 artisans to World Trade Center Mexico
Arts & Entertainment
shares109 views
Arts & Entertainment
shares109 views

Manos del Mundo will bring 300 artisans to World Trade Center Mexico

GOCDMX - Jul 23, 2017

At the beginning of August, the WTC of Mexico City will be filled with colorful Mexican and world crafts, with…

Mexican Highway sinkhole kills two and exposes corruption
CDMX News
shares171 views
CDMX News
shares171 views

Mexican Highway sinkhole kills two and exposes corruption

GOCDMX - Jul 21, 2017

When a car carrying a father and son plunged into a giant sinkhole that opened on a highway in central…

8 killed in gun battle in Mexico City
CDMX News
shares167 views
CDMX News
shares167 views

8 killed in gun battle in Mexico City

GOCDMX - Jul 20, 2017

Mexican military forces killed the suspected leader of a drug gang and seven others in southern Mexico City Thursday, authorities…