Billionaire Carlos Slim Eyeing Electric Taxis to Cut Pollution in Mexico City

5/26/2017 Fortune

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Flickr/Alvaro Sánchez

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, 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.

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