I was taken by surprise when Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane announced last month that, as part of the province’s green economy, they intend to convert about 260 taxis so that they can use both petrol and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).
“Coming to Gauteng Green Economy Programme, the wide-scale gas distribution for household and industry is under way. We (also) identified 260 taxis for conversion into gas use and trained 12 technicians,” said Mokonyane.
The programme is a joint venture by the Gauteng government, the taxi industry, Automotive Industry Development Centre (AIDC) and Sasol Petroleum Company.
According to AIDC CEO Barlow Manilal, going the LPG route reduces the cost of running a taxi business.
“Conversions to LPG have made the cost of running a taxi business more cost effective as the running costs are reduced by 12 percent a year due to the lower cost of LPG compared to petrol.
“This while reducing the carbon dioxide emissions by 11% and carbon monoxide by 30% per taxi,” he said.
David Ngobeni, a Pretoria taxi driver who has converted two of his taxis, concurred with Manilal’s assertions.
“To fill-up my 50 litre Toyota Quantum with petrol, I spend around R760, but this is slashed to R426 when filling-up with LPG, saving around R334,” said Ngobeni.
The first phase of the programme is being piloted around the Pretoria CBD, Mamelodi and Hammanskraal.
I never thought I’d ever see the taxi industry embracing green technology, because of its reputation for being dogmatic.
Source: IOL – Pretoria News by Vuyo Sabani 11 July 2012