New electric black cab certified for fare-paying passengers in London

07 December 2017

07 December 2017

The London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) has announced that its first electric black cab is now fully certified to carry fare-paying passengers.

The new taxi was unveiled in July as a replacement for the outgoing diesel models, in order to aid the city in the reduction of its air pollution levels. The new vehicle is a plug-in hybrid, with a 70 mile electric range and 400 miles in total thanks to a petrol powered range extender. LEVC (formally the London Taxi Company) aims to sell the model around the world once it has proven itself on the streets of the UK capital.

Chris Gubbey, CEO of LEVC, said: ‘After extensive testing, LEVC’s new taxi is ready to do the job it was made for: transport people around this great city of London safely, cleanly and stylishly. Better for passengers, more cost effective for drivers, it will play a major role in helping to improve air quality benefiting all Londoners. I am immensely proud of the work we have carried out so far: we have produced a new icon, the world’s most advanced electric taxi.’

Shirley Rodrigues, Deputy London Mayor for environment and energy, added: ′These new electric taxis are at the forefront of green transport technology and will play a transformational role in the Mayor’s plan to phase out diesel and clean up the transport network. This will help to accelerate improvements to London’s toxic air.

′It’s great to have the first electric taxis on London’s streets and a testament to London’s leadership and that of LEVC. I look forward to seeing many more taxis on London’s street in the coming months.’

The Geely owned manufacturer says it has received thousands of expressions of interest in London for the new electric TX since order books opened in August and the first electric TX models will arrive in the hands of drivers this month. The company has initiated a scrappage scheme trade-in offer for drivers of Euro 4 black cabs.

Under the scrappage scheme, which aims to cut pollution in central London by 45% by 2020, owners of black cabs which are 10 years old will receive a grant of £5,000 (€5,600) to scrap their vehicles, which will roll down to £1,200 (€1,350) for drivers of vehicles between 14 and 15 years old. The London Mayor has also said that no new diesel taxis will be licenced in the capital from January 2018 to aid the reduction in pollution.

LEVC aims to sell 10,000 vehicles a year by the end of the decade, with 50% of these coming from sales outside Britain. The company has already announced its plans to roll out 225 taxis in Amsterdam, while earlier in the year, Gubbey stated that a deal with a second major European city is being discussed. The company is now hoping to finalise this deal shortly, possibly even by the end of the year. ‘Quite soon hopefully there will be an announcement on the second one after Amsterdam. We’re getting very close now,’ Gubbey said.

Photograph courtesy of LEVC