Blog: Last day in Taiwan

Time 4:13 am, December 2, 2011

img_1193-copyLAST day in Taiwan today. I’ve been in the Far East — along with press colleagues from Japan, Germany and Canada.

We’ve been visiting and learning about companies taking part in next April’s EV show in the capital Taipei. Today we have two more factory visits lined up.

So… after joining my colleagues in the reception of the hotel (embarrassed at being the last to arrive again, and also the butt of a few jokes as I have the biggest suitcase and am the only man) it was back on the bus and off to the first stop of the day.

Incidentally, I include here a picture of our bus, if only because my time aboard it will be one of my abiding memories of the trip… we spent many hours inside as we travelled the highways and byways of Taiwan!

First stop was the company DK City, not too far from Taichung city centre. CEO Snow Chen was keen to share with us the successes her firm is enjoying at the moment. EVs (in the form of motor scooters and bikes) are central to the firm’s progress and expansion but I wasn’t expecting to hear that they export gym equipment to the UK via catalogue shopping chain Argos!

Mindy from Taitra (the Taiwan trade organisation who had organised the trip) treated us to a delicious lunch in an authentic Taiwanese eaterie, after which we travelled to the Fukuta Electrical and Machinery Company Ltd. for the second visit of the day.

‘His firm is currently involved in several exciting developments but they’re all a bit hush-hush’

I absolutely loved this place. The passion and enthusiasm for EV was apparent in everyone we met and even though boss Gordon Chang didn’t speak a word of English, there was no mistaking his drive and determination to play a full part in the EV revolution.

He says he can turn any car into an EV and we had a few test rides (no chance to actually do any driving unfortunately) to prove his point. His firm is currently involved in several exciting developments but they’re all a bit hush-hush and cameras were definitely not allowed when certain products were unveiled.

A bit of a shame really but entirely understandable.

img_1219-copyTwo of Fukuta’s main alliances are with Tesla, an icon in the world of EV, and Luxgen, a Taiwan-based EV car company. Make no mistake, Fukuta’s a name to watch out for.

OK, now it was time to get back on the bus and head back north to Taipei. The Taiwan experience was over now really — all five factory visits had been concluded and all seemed to have gone according to plan.

(Just one note to self from the three-day visit: If you’re visiting a country where you might be asked to remove your shoes before entering a room, it’s probably a good idea to leave your ‘Only Fools and Horses’ socks at home.)

And one final thing if anyone’s still reading: I can’t resist adding another tourist-trail paragraph.

My Japanese colleague Etsuko and I visited the Taipei 101 tower during the final evening of our Taiwan trip. Google it if you want to know more about the tower, but one word, from inside and out: Stunning.

That’s it folks, by the time you read this I’ll be on flight BR67 to Heathrow. Bye for now.. and take it EV!

Dave Brown

Read more about our sub editor’s trip to the preview event for the Taiwan Electric International Vehicle Show, here

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