National automaker Iran Khodro (IKCO) and Iran Taxi Union are jointly pushing an initiative to replace 50,000 dilapidated taxis with CNG vehicles by the end of the current Iranian year (March 2021).
The initiative aims to curb the worrying air pollution in Iranian metropolises while reducing gasoline consumption. Morteza Zameni, the head of Iran Taxi Union, said two IKCO CNG sedan models are used in this scheme, namely Samand EF7 and Peugeot 405, which is underway in four cities: Tehran, Mashhad, Hamedan and Isfahan.
“The whole renewal process takes less than a month. Owners of dilapidated taxis file an application with Iran taxi union. After identity verification, drivers are required to make a down payment. The invoice and license plate number of the new vehicle is issued, and the applicants are asked to complete their payments based on the price of the selected car model,” he said. Zameni noted that new cars will be ready for delivery 48 hours after the drivers dispatch their old vehicles to scrapyards.
Announcing that over 2,200 taxi drivers have so far submitted applications, the official explained that to help the cabbies, municipalities of the targeted cities will pay them $2,123 in loans. “The loan covers over half of the new vehicles’ price. Samand costs $3,991 and Peugeot 405 is sold for $3,651,” he said.
“Iran has some 150,000 dilapidated taxis that are worsening air pollution, which figure constitutes nearly half of the 360,000 vehicles in the taxi fleet,” Zameni added.