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PHOTO CAPTION: BYD e6 taxi in service in Shenzhen, China

A Tale of Two Would-Be Electric Vehicle Cities

BBC commentator Peter Day compares bicycle-dominated Amsterdam to Shenzhen, China, home of electric carmaker BYD.

Published: 26-Jan-2011

People tell me that 2011 is the year of the electric car. People have been saying that for some time, and so far it has not happened. So this year is in with a chance. Certainly battery power is getting a lot of attention.

I've been to some of the places where they say the battery-powered car is on the way. Smart City Amsterdam was one of them, last summer. There is huge ambition in Amsterdam, at least among the consultants advising the city how to pursue the sustainability vision that the European Union has enunciated for the whole continent.

Silently, I drove around Amsterdam in a neat little vehicle. We visited one of the 15 charging points the city had installed; now there are said to be 100.

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