XI'AN, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- Sixty methanol-fueled taxis were put on the road in Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province, on Thursday.
Methanol is widely considered a clean fuel for engines.
Xi'an has long suffered from smog, and the city has been making efforts to reduce emissions in recent years.
"Methanol-fueled taxis are going to ease gas shortages in the winter, and will also be crucial for the reduction of emissions in the city," said Qiang Xiao'an, deputy mayor of Xi'an.
Xi'an has unveiled a series of policies and measures, such as subsidies for methanol cars, allowing methanol-fueled vehicles to use bus lanes, and freeing methanol-fueled cars from traffic restrictions.
Related industries and services for methanol-fueled vehicles, such as financing, insurance, lease, logistics, after-sale services and second-hand trading are being created.
Qiang said 15 methanol stations had been completed so far. Xi'an plans to put 10,000 methanol-fueled taxis in the city and build 45 methanol stations next year.
"Coal-rich provinces such as Shaanxi, Shanxi and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region can produce methanol from coal. It is clean and efficient, and will also safeguard the energy security of the country," said Ni Weidou, an energy specialist with the Chinese Academy of Engineering.