BRUSSELS, (Xinhua) -- Belgian officials on Wednesday welcomed 34 fully electric Chinese-made taxis being put into service in Brussels.
"Using electricity in public transportation, including the taxi sector, is vital for European citizens' quality of life," Pascal Smet, Brussels' minister for mobility and public works, said at the official launch of the "e6" taxis made by BYD (Build Your Dreams), a Shenzhen-based Chinese manufacturer of rechargeable batteries and automobiles.
Smet said the electric taxis generate less pollution and noise.
Addressing the ceremony, Chinese Ambassador to Belgium Liao Liqiang said China had paid great attention to the development of greener vehicles and the energy-saving industry at large.
"These 34 BYD e6 taxis symbolize the leadership of Chinese new vehicle technology, helping to electrify transportation in Brussels," he added.
Liao noted that the Chinese government was encouraging more companies such as BYD to invest in Belgium.
As part of its fight against climate change and other environmental issues, the European Union aims to use 20 percent renewable energy by 2020. This has encouraged more and more member states to explore the use of electricity in the transportation sector, instead of traditional fuels.
"As one of the biggest cities in Europe, Brussels will not be left behind by other cites," Smet said.
Fully electric vehicles are becoming a major trend in the world, especially in densely populated cities where it is a pressing imperative that this mode of public transportation becomes cleaner.
Along with its pure electric taxis, BYD is introducing a range of ebuses in several major global cities, with more than 36 in Europe already test-running the BYD ebus.
BYD Auto Europe's Managing Director Isbrand Ho said that the e6 will deliver taxi drivers and operators with not only a total green transport solution but also cost savings when compared to diesel fuel.
"Taxi passengers will also enjoy a quiet and comfortable ride," Ho added.
BYD describes the e6 as a spacious, five-passenger, crossover vehicle powered by BYD iron-phosphate batteries. Such pure electric cars can travel for up to 300 km, emitting zero emissions.