'Maintenance main issue preventing taxis from switching to hybrid'

[23-06-2013 01:41 PM]

Ammon News - by Mohammad Ghazal/ Jordan Times

Taxi owners cite costs of spare parts, repairs

AMMAN — Taxi owners on Saturday said replacing their fuel-run cars with hybrids is unfeasible, even though it would reduce petrol costs by about 20 per cent.

“The government’s recent remarks about encouraging taxi drivers to use hybrid cars are illogical, because they are not suitable for public transportation,” Ahmad Abu Haidar, president of the Transport Services and Taxi Owners Union, told The Jordan Times.

According to studies by the union, using gasoline-electric hybrid cars instead of petrol-only cars will reduce fuel costs by 15-20 per cent, which Abu Haidar said was “good, but not enough to encourage drivers to replace their cars with hybrids”.

“Hybrid cars are not heavy duty, and the cost of their maintenance is high, which makes them unsuitable for taxi drivers and owners,” he noted.

“Even if the government one day decides to remove all taxes on hybrids, it will still be unfeasible to use these cars for transporting passengers,” he added.

At a conference on green energy last Monday, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Malek Kabariti said the government is considering annulling the 16 per cent sales tax imposed on fuel-efficient cars and allowing the usage of hybrids as taxis in a bid to improve the quality of cars in the country and reduce the Kingdom’s increasing energy bill.

Jaber Seifi, owner of a taxi office in Amman, agreed with Abu Haidar.

“Maintenance shops for hybrid cars are not as popular or as widespread as those for fuel-run cars. This is a major issue that would make taxi drivers think twice before shifting to hybrid vehicles,” Seifi told The Jordan Times.

“The battery for hybrid cars is also more expensive and that is another issue,” he noted.

Hassan Masoud, who owns a taxi office in Hashemi Shamali, said using hybrid cars as cabs is “nonsensical”.

“Hybrid cars are only good for personal use. They would be useless as taxis in Amman because there are a lot of hilly areas... petrol-only cars are more powerful,” Masoud noted.

“Spare parts for hybrid cars are more expensive than those for regular cars,” he added.

But Saleem Fathallah, a taxi driver, said he would prefer to operate a hybrid car if no taxes or custom fees were imposed on it.

“If all taxes are removed and hybrids become cheaper than other cars, I would be willing to change my taxi,” Fathallah added.

“In addition, if the number of garages specialised in hybrid cars significantly increases, and they were to charge low prices, then more taxis will be encouraged to switch,” he said, noting that hybrids would only be cost-effective when spare parts are easily available and maintenance costs go down.

Currently, a special tax rate of 25 per cent of the value of the car is imposed on hybrids with 2,500cc engines, while those with larger engines are subject to a 55 per cent tax.

Additionally, a 16 per cent sales tax is imposed on hybrid cars, which the government said it might annul.

  • no comments

All comments are reviewed and posted only if approved.
Ammon News reserves the right to delete any comment at any time, and for any reason, and will not publish any comment containing offense or deviating from the subject at hand, or to include the names of any personalities or to stir up sectarian, sectarian or racial strife, hoping to adhere to a high level of the comments as they express The extent of the progress and culture of Ammon News' visitors, noting that the comments are expressed only by the owners.
name : *
show email
comment : *
Verification code : Refresh
write code :