The city of Loja, in Ecuador, is cutting air pollution, improving public health, and reducing its carbon emissions by replacing fossil fuel taxis with EVs and promoting cycling amongst the population.
A fleet of 30 electric taxis has been introduced to the Andean city of Loja, in Ecuador, as part of a city-wide strategy to improve sustainable transportation. The city is also building cycle paths, and has constructed 72 km of ecological trails in and outside the city to promote healthy mobility and maintain Loja’s reputation as Ecuador’s “ecological city.”
The people of Loja are environmentally proud and unafraid of new technology, demonstrated by previous pioneering recycling and wind energy projects, which both came from grassroots beginnings. The citizens were once more at the forefront of another sustainable project, and presented the business case for the electric taxis to City Hall. In addition to financing the project, Loja has gone one step further and required all future taxis to be electric, which will benefit from the high share of renewable energy in the country’s energy mix.
Governments are often wary of creating legislation that threatens fossil fuel-based industries, but when communities demand more sustainable forms of transport, as in Loja, it gives local governments the green light to push more environmentally progressive policies.
Economic Owners of the electric taxis save an estimated 40% on fuel and operational costs compared to traditional fossil fuel-based vehicles.
Environmental Creating ecological trails has led to the creation of additional green spaces throughout the city, improving urban biodiversity.
Social The electric taxi project was co-designed by Ecuadorian migrants living abroad who wanted to return to their home country. The scheme offers a stable source of income for them and their families.
Health Loja’s ecological trail network offers pleasant and healthy alternatives to traditional, polluting vehicles.