Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 19

19

* MAY 2018

Téo Taxi charging ahead
with Montreal expansion
'The No. 1 complaint
from our customers
is that we don't have
enough cars'

PHOTO : LA PRESSE

Montreal
EV-taxi rival
taps BYD
for cars

By BENOIT CHARETTE

MONTRÉAL CORRESPONDENT

UNDETERRED BY UBER'S
decision to stay in Quebec,
Alexandre Taillefer, president of Téo
Taxi, founded in 2015, plans to triple
the company's fleet to reach 350 electric vehicles in the next 18 months.
In September 2017, Uber threatened to leave the province because
of a ministerial order that required
35 hours of training for Uber drivers
as well as a criminal-record check.
Ultimately, Uber decided to stay in
Quebec.
But Taillefer said that regulatory
changes in the wake of the dispute
have made it possible for his all-EV
taxi service to expand.
"I can assure our users that we
will finally be able to better meet the
demand," he said. "We will also be
able to ensure the financial sustainability of the company. This is good
news for those who have invested in
the project.
"The No. 1 complaint from our
customers is that we don't have
enough cars."
The province reduced the
required training for Téo's drivers to 35 hours from 150, which
cut training costs. That motivated Taillefer to put the savings into
expansion. A formal funding process
launched in September raised $17
million for the expansion for 2018.
But Téo Taxi has been unsuccessful
at attracting new investment from
Europe and North America.

BATTLING UBER
Uber has about 10,000 drivers
in Quebec. Taillefer said that Uber
controls about 25 per cent of the
Montreal market and carries passengers on 75,000 trips to and from

Yung and Fabien Cuong want to
bring Chinese EV taxis into Montreal.

Paxi says it will have a
pilot fleet of 50 vehicles
for cabbies to test
By BENOIT CHARETTE

MONTREAL CORRESPONDENT

Alexandre Taillefer in an electric Teo Taxi. He's looking to triple his fleet
in Montreal. P H O T O : C O U R I E R L AVA L

Montreal-Trudeau Airport every
month. Taillefer pulled no punches when discussing Uber, accusing
the company of skirting labour laws
in Quebec and bulldozing its way to
preferential treatment.
"They act like the school bully,
and I'm not comfortable with
that, and I don't think Quebecers
are comfortable either," said
Taillefer. "Even before Uber was
planning to leave, we were preparing for this expansion by hiring new
drivers."
As with Uber, Téo riders use a
smartphone app to order taxis and
pay for rides. Téo, which also owns
Taxi Diamond of Montréal, only
covers part of Montreal and is aiming to increase its service area.
Téo charges the same rate as
Montreal taxis, while Uber charges
less but on average is paying its
drivers $6 to $7 an hour; the average salary for a Téo driver is
between $13.50 and $26 per hour,
Taillefer said. Cars are equipped

Téo Taxi President Alexandre
Taillefer foresees electric taxis,
cargo and delivery trucks.
PHOTO: SHOWBIZ.NET

with cell-phone chargers and free
Wi-Fi. Taillefer said Téo's working
conditions for drivers are better
than Uber's.

TRUCK PROPOSALS

Téo Taxi's president says that working conditions for the drivers
are better than Uber's. P H O T O : T É O TA X I

Taillefer is also pursuing funding for two more projects. One, Téo
Cargo, would launch a fleet of fully
electric trucks to transport goods
between Montreal and Toronto.
A pilot project involves the purchase of a dozen transport trucks,
which would require an investment
of about $40 million. The trucks
would be produced by the Lion
Electric Co., whose electric school
buses have already traveled 2.5 million kilometres.
In addition, Taillefer is discussing a plan to create Téo Express,
an EV delivery company. The
objective is to use warehouses
where goods will be delivered in
bulk and to ensure the "last kilometres" of delivery to the consumer with electric vehicles. Taillefer is
talking with "several delivery companies" to raise funding. - ANC

ANOTHER ELECTRIC-VEHICLE
taxi company might join Téo Taxi
in Montreal using cars from Chinabased automaker BYD.
Yung Cuong, president of Paxi
Technologies, which provides technology for the taxi industry, wants to
import 50 of BYD's e6 electric taxis
for use on the Island of Montreal in
the pilot phase of the project in 2018.
Cuong's company plans to reach out
to Montreal taxi companies for their
drivers to test the vehicles for a year,
including during the winter.
Cuong co-founded the company
with his son, Fabien, in 2017 and has
been working to develop a solution
for the electrification of transport in
Quebec for at least three years.
"My goal is to help remove the
biggest polluters in the city," said
Cuong.
Partly owned by investor Warren
Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway
Inc., BYD has its North American
headquarters and production in
Lancaster, Calif., where the company
builds zero-emissions buses.
BYD has said it will open an
assembly plant in Ontario in 2018.
According to Cuong, the price
negotiated with BYD for an e6 car
for the taxi industry will be between
$60,000 and $62,000.
Cuong also hopes to receive funding from Quebec through its program
to support the implementation of electric taxi pilot projects.
"According to preliminary data,
our project would involve about $2
million in government support out
of a total of about $4 million for the
entire project," said Cuong. - ANC

Paxi Technologies will pay $60,000 to
$62,000 for the BYD e6 taxi.
PHOTO : LA PRESSE


http://www.SHOWBIZ.NET

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2

Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - Intro
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 1
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 2
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 3
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 4
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 5
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 6
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 7
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 8
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 9
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 10
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 11
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 12
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 13
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 14
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 15
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 16
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 17
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 18
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 19
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 20
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 21
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 22
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 23
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 24
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 25
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 26
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 27
Automotive News Canada - May 2018 - v2 - 28
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