Hong Kong BYD Electric Taxi (A BYD e6 electric taxi is tested by reporters after a launching ceremony in Hong Kong Wednesday, Ma

Taiwan may be small in the grand scheme of things - the island off of China's southeastern coast is slightly larger than Maryland - but it's a big deal for BYD and sales of that automaker's e6 electric vehicle. BYD Taiwan, a partnership between BYD Hong Kong and Taiwan Solar Energy Co., has reached an agreement in which 1,500 of the EVs will be ordered for that country's taxi service, Focus Taiwan reports. Deliveries will start early next year for the e6 electric crossover, which seats five. The cars have a single-charge range of 186 miles.

BYD's investors include Warren Buffett and the company has been increasing e6 sales in recent years largely via taxi agreements. In 2010, the company deployed 40 e6 taxis in its hometown of Shenzhen. Last year, BYD deployed what was said to be South America's largest all-electric taxi fleet with 45 e6 taxis put into service in Bogota, Columbia. Singapore and London are among other cities that have reached agreements to have BYD supply some of their all-electric taxis. As of last fall, about 800 e6 EVs had been deployed as taxis worldwide, so the 1,500-unit Taiwanese contract is a substantial one both for BYD and the e6 EV.