The Committee would like to express its appreciation to the Tsai administration for its efforts in promoting vehicle electrification in Taiwan. We especially applaud its goal of making all public buses and government vehicles electric by 2030, while all newly registered motorcycles and cars will need to be electric vehicles (EVs) by 2035 and 2040, respectively. To facilitate the transition, the Committee continues to advocate broader electrification incentives for industry and consumers.
The present state of technology for energy cell efficiency requires that manufacturers build battery blocks of substantial weight and volume to assuage consumer fears about limited range. However, the distance that consumers expect to be able to drive before recharging is often longer than necessary, and manufacturers may be overcompensating in this regard. Rather than allow this unsustainable approach to continue, the government should work with industry to build a user-friendly charging network to give EV drivers confidence that they can get where they need to go.
Over the last year, some progress has been made in constructing fast-charging stations along Taiwan’s freeways. Three locations are currently being built on National Freeways 1 and 3. Meanwhile, the determination of policymakers is required in solving some of the major obstacles faced by EV owners to charge at home or at work (e.g., resistance from the resident committees or associations of apartment buildings). The government should be prepared to take measures such as amending relevant laws and regulations or offering subsidies to accelerate EV adoption in Taiwan.
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many believed that EV development would stagnate in 2020 due to the fall in global oil prices. To their surprise, the introduction of green recovery programs across the world helped boost the sales of EVs to record highs in many countries. To enable Taiwan to keep pace with the green transformation happening elsewhere on the planet, we offer the following suggestions:
Suggestion 1: Announce the extension of the commodity tax exemption for BEVs as soon as possible.
The Committee was pleased to learn at White Paper meetings convened earlier this year by the National Development Council (NDC) that the current commodity tax exemption for battery electric vehicles (BEV) would be extended for another four years, pending the Executive Yuan’s final approval. This exemption amounts to NT$210,000 for any BEV with a taxable value of more than NT$1.4 million.
Given that the continuation of this fiscal incentive is crucial for product planning by distributors and for consumer purchasing decisions, the Committee urges announcement of the four-year extension at the earliest possible date, ideally July 1, 2021.
Suggestion 2: Create a user-friendly charging environment for EVs.
To support the accelerated growth of Taiwan’s EV charging infrastructure, more emphasis needs to be placed on solutions for charging at home and at work. One possible solution might be legal amendments that enable users to install charging ports at their own expense without having to first obtain the consent of a building’s residents committee.
Certain non-fiscal incentives could prove extremely helpful in encouraging the purchase and usage of EVs and reducing emissions. Examples of such incentives may include giving EVs priority parking in public carparks, as well as designating charger-equipped parking spaces exclusively for EV use. Other measures such as access to bus lanes, waivers for high-occupancy vehicles, and toll reductions should be considered as well.
Another aspect of this suggestion focuses on the development of charging stations across Taiwan. There are currently five mainstream DC-charging standards for EVs in the world. Combined charging system 1 (CCS1) is mainly used in the U.S., Canada, and South Korea; combined charging system 2 (CCS2) is mainly used in Europe, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, and India; CHAdeMO is used in Japan; GB is used solely by China; and TESLA’s proprietary charging specifications are used in most jurisdictions. Of these, only the first four are included in the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) charging standards. Although the majority of electric passenger cars currently sold in Taiwan use the TESLA specifications, all types of charging interface are available. There is still no clear consensus in Taiwan on charger specifications for passenger and commercial EVs.
The Committee recommends that the government adopt a flexible policy on EV charging standards to attract EV-related investment and stimulate the development of Taiwan’s charging infrastructure. Taiwan’s EV industry has only begun to take off in recent years. At this moment, limiting private investment in Taiwan’s charging infrastructure to specific standards may hamper the development of this nascent industry.
Taiwan should maintain its current approach of voluntary compliance for all charging standards. In addition, we appreciate the government’s move to prioritize economic efficiency in choosing the type of charging specifications used for public construction tenders. However, this policy should not represent a firm restriction of certain standards but should be aimed at accelerating the expansion of Taiwan’s EV industry.
Maintain voluntary compliance with multiple different charging standards and let the market determine the most efficient charging interface.
Adopt IEC 61851-1:2017 standards and refer to the successful policies of countries that have allowed for the use of various adapters. Doing so could increase the use of the public charging infrastructure and ensure the sustainability of large-scale private investments.
Suggestion 3: Broaden the standards applied to airport taxis.
For the current airport taxi service, which is conducted in shifts, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) lists engine displacement as one of the major criteria for determining which taxis can participate. The criteria, set many years ago, call for engine displacement of at least 1,900cc for taxis servicing Kaohsiung and Taipei International Airports and 1,750cc for those at Songshan Airport. At that time, engine displacement was directly connected to the interior space of a vehicle, and the criteria aimed to ensure that taxis were large enough to ensure passenger comfort and sufficient space for luggage.
However, vehicles with smaller engines are now much more spacious and comfortable than in the past. The Committee believes that given the advances in the auto industry, including the introduction of new powertrain technologies and the movement toward new energy vehicles (NEV), engine displacement requirements for airport taxis are unnecessary and obsolete.
Remove the engine-displacement criteria for airport taxis or modify it to specify vehicle dimensions instead.
Continue to update the regulations periodically based on industry trends and technological developments.
Updating the airport taxi requirements would fulfill demand from both taxi drivers and passengers. In the longer term, the change will support a sustainable environment by allowing the inclusion of taxis with smaller yet powerful engines and NEV taxis.
Suggestion 4: Relax NCC restrictions on products imported by R&D centers for testing purposes.
In the current era of globalization, multinational corporations (MNCs) in the ICT industry must make strategic decisions regarding where to place their R&D and manufacturing facilities. Given Taiwan’s status as a hub for testing products during the development process, the island’s R&D centers often need to import semi-finished or finished products from manufacturing facilities in other locations. However, the process for applying to the National Communications Commission (NCC) and Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection (BSMI) for permission to import such products is time-consuming and often leads to delays in new product launches, affecting Taiwan’s position in the supply chain.
To create a more friendly environment for R&D centers and streamline the new product development process in Taiwan, the Committee urges the government to strengthen cross-agency coordination and provide greater product-import flexibility to ICT MNCs that invest significantly in R&D in Taiwan.
For ICT MNCs recognized by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) for their continuous investment in R&D and contributions to Taiwan’s economy, BSMI has listed products that are exempt from Customs examination. However, some products are still subject to NCC review and approval.
Consider granting exemption from Customs examination to products being imported for testing by R&D centers recognized by the MOEA and currently subject to NCC approval.
Suggestion 5: Reform the MPT system to strengthen the taxi industry, improve the general taxi experience, increase driver earnings, and fulfill the government’s digitalization goals.
Across the world, governments, institutions, scientists, innovators, and entrepreneurs have come together to make use of evolving technologies to redefine industries and help pave the way for a sustainable future. A key development in this push is the growth of the collaborative, sharing, and digital economies, as well as e-commerce.
While other countries are embracing this change and working together with platform operators to better promote the embedding of digital tools in society, Taiwan has maintained a more conservative attitude, taking only incremental steps toward policy reform. This is especially so in cases that involve industry incumbents, such as taxi services.
Amendments to the Automobile Transportation Management Regulations (the Regulations) passed in 2019 allow multi-purpose taxis (MPT) to use APPs that contain meters with an upfront pricing structure. However, the changes did little to rectify remaining issues with the Regulations, such as restrictions on cross-regional operations, inflexible rates, and limits on the fee-charging options available to passenger transportation service operators. Importantly, they did nothing to enable the taxi industry to benefit from digitization.
The spread of COVID-19 in 2020 caused at least a 30% decline in the overall business for the taxi industry in Taiwan, which is now only slowly recovering. Rather than take advantage of a unique opportunity to truly rethink and digitalize this industry, the Taiwan government appeared to be more interested in maintaining the status quo or even making it more difficult for new businesses to enter the market.
Continuing the current approach to MPTs will inhibit the development of the passenger transportation industry and curtail the progress of the professional driving community. Furthermore, it will limit income-earning opportunities for Taiwanese people, consumer convenience, and the advantages that accrue from technology and digitization.
Permit cross-regional taxi operations. Article 91, paragraph 1, sub-section 3 of the Regulations currently restricts taxis from operating across different regions. However, allowing cross-regional operation of taxis or enabling them to operate without any regional restrictions would increase the efficiency of the industry, as well as the economic opportunities for drivers. In addition, permitting cross-regional taxi operation could fix the imbalance in supply and demand between urban and rural areas without sacrificing the government’s ability to regulate the taxi industry in an efficient and effective manner.
This issue was raised in last year’s White Paper, but only a vague response was received from the MOTC. We ask that the government give renewed consideration to our suggestion regarding cross-regional taxi operations to ensure a more equitable market for riders and drivers.
Add an option to Article 96-2 of the Regulations allowing ride-share bookings to be made via APPs or delete the requirement to establish ride-share stations. This approach would open the market to MPTs and prevent their unjustifiable exclusion under the Regulations, which has created an unreasonable and uneven playing field. Moreover, opening up the industry to ride-sharing by MPTs can improve traffic flow during rush hours and decrease traffic congestion and air pollution.
Vest the MOTC with administrative discretion in determining the calculation of trip fares on APPs and increasing the flexibility of minimum fares. Existing regulations restrict yellow cabs and MPTs from charging less than a set minimum fare. However, a dynamic pricing model that provides riders with more affordable and convenient riding options would be the most direct way to raise driver income, stimulate growth in the industry, and increase demand for taxis. At the same time, traditional yellow cabs should be permitted to calculate and collect fees via an APP, as this would encourage individual operators to become associated with a digital dispatcher and resolve current management challenges. It could also potentially improve the cumbersome payment process and reduce the need for drivers to double-park while riders count out cash to pay their fare, thereby assuaging safety concerns and enhancing traffic order.
本建議的另一個面向在如何促進台灣的充電基礎建設。現今全球主流的電動車直流充電標準有五種，包含四種符合國際電工委員會（International Electrotechnical Commission, IEC），Combined Charging System 1 (CCS1) 主要區域為美加及韓國；Combined Charging System 2 (CCS2) 主要區域為歐洲、紐澳、新加坡及印度；CHAdeMO（日本）；GB（中國）以及 TESLA 的獨有的充電規格。台灣目前引進的電動小客中，以使用 TESLA 獨有充電規格為大宗，且各式充電規格車輛皆有在台灣行駛的蹤跡，小客車及大型商用車使用規格現階段仍無顯而易見的共識。