The London Taxi Company finally reveals its vision of the future London Taxi; a plug-in range extended electric Black Cab, destined to hits the streets of London in 2018.
The company, part of global automotive group Geely Automobile Holdings, is confident that it has the technology, experience and investment to manufacture and retail a globally-dominant and iconic Black Cab, which meets Mayor Boris Johnson’s air quality ambitions for London.
Vice-President of UK Operations, Peter Johansen said: “Given Geely’s green credentials and their commitment to invest £200m in green taxi technology over the next 5 years, coupled with our own extensive experience and enviable heritage, we feel comfortable that we will provide London with an environmentally-sound Black Cab, which can meet the future air quality demands of our capital city, whilst also delivering a vehicle which is recognised by the general public as a taxi.
“Geely’s investment has allowed us to do what we do best; create purpose-built vehicles. It’s not a van conversion; it’s designed from the ground up to be a London Taxi and will be robust and durable in order to survive the demanding taxi duty cycle.
“It responds to Mayor Boris Johnson's vision for improving London's air quality and the future global environmental challenges. It also delivers against the needs and expectation of the taxi trade and is an evolution of the iconic, instantly recognisable London Taxi that is loved, admired and respected the world over.
“Geely’s investment means that we have the funds and the capabilities required to further improve the eco-credentials of our existing vehicle. It also means that we will be able to fulfil our aspiration to relocate from our Coventry factory to another UK production facility, invest in state-of-the art tooling and further bolster the domestic manufacturing industry and economy through recruitment and global export opportunities.”
Although many details of the exciting new icon are being kept firmly under wraps, the following specification information for the future London Taxi has been released:
• A plug-in range extended electric London Taxi
• A no compromise, zero-emissions capable Black Cab
• Purpose-built to be a taxi (eg not a car/van conversion)
• A European Whole Vehicle Type Approved Black Cab
which meets the London Conditions of Fitness
• Front-wheel steer 25ft turning circle
• Fully accessible including front-facing wheelchair seating position
• New lightweight body structure
• Exceptional fuel economy
• Lower overall cost of ownership
• Outstanding driver comfort and ergonomics
• Six passenger seats in rear
• Advanced technological driver and passenger features
• Evolution of the iconic London Taxi shape
• NCAP 5 Safety-rated
The London Taxi manufacturer, based in Coventry, already retails its Euro 5-compliant TX4 across the UK. This vehicle represented a major milestone for the UK firm, as engineers have reduced harmful Diesel Particulates emitted from the TX4 tailpipe to a negligible 0.0005g/km and NOx to just 0.28g/km; representing a reduction of 99% and 80% respectively versus the iconic Fairway London Taxi.
The next version of the TX4 is being developed in tandem with the company’s engine supplier VM Motori. It will be Euro 6-compliant, deliver further emissions reductions and will be available from 2015.