The New TX Taxi officially launches in London this week. The TX5 is powered by a battery electric powertrain with a 1.3-litre petrol generator, a system which its maker calls eCity. It can charge from empty to 80% in 20 minutes on a rapid charger. But you won't find many rapid chargers in London, so it's more like two hours, on a fast charger, or overnight it's eight to 10 hours on a trickle charge.
News also in today's press, of another electric car completely destroyed by fire, left charging over night. Lucky for the owner that this time, the car was not housed in an adjoining garage, or this could have been even more of a tragedy
The 2017 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive car had been left charging overnight outside an office, which was damaged by smoke from the fire, at the Rettendon Turnpike junction in Wickford, Essex.
Two fire crews fought to extinguish the blaze, which hit temperatures of 300 degrees Celsius, in the early hours of this morning.
Destroyed: The 2017 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive car had been left charging overnight outside an office, which was damaged by smoke, at the Rettendon Turnpike junction in Wickford, Essex
Officers also had to ventilate the office block to bring the situation under control.
Pictures of the car, which has a 17.6kWh battery, show its gutted body and the melted remains of the lithium ion battery pack.
A spokesman for Essex County Fire and Rescue Service said: 'An electric car which was left on charge outside an office building has been 100 per cent destroyed and caused smoke damage to a building after catching alight.
Almost 50,000 electric or hybrid cars were sold in Britain last year, and one in every 30 cars sold is now powered by electricity.
Many are powered by lithium-ion batteries, which are also one of the most popular types of rechargeable batteries and used in many mobile phones.
But they can sometimes explode and catch fire when overheated – as was the case for Samsung’s notorious Galaxy Note 7 phone, which was banned by airlines and which the company was eventually forced to recall at a cost of billions of pounds.
Lithium-ion batteries contain two electrodes – one made from lithium and one from carbon – submerged in a liquid called an electrolyte that lets electrical charges flow between the electrodes.
If a battery is charged too quickly, it can cause metal-like whiskers called dendrites to form and pass through the liquid electrolytes, resulting in a short circuit that can lead to explosions and fires.