London to welcome its first electric black cabs
Long-anticipated hybrid black cabs are now fully licenced to operate in the streets of London, with the hope they will contribute to reducing dangerous air pollution levels in the city.
The London Taxi Company, the manufacturer of the landmark London black cabs, has changed its name to London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVS) as part of a rebirth to unveil the new hybrid version of the cabs.
The new TX eCity Taxi has an all-electric range of 80 miles and is fitted with a 1.5-litre petrol engine. It can fully charge in 20 minutes via a rapid charger and in two hours with a fast charger.
The hybrid taxis are not only able to carry more passengers, but they also offer a series of technological features aimed to improve the traveller’s experience.
The 6-seated vehicles have a panoramic sunroof, USB charging points and power sockets for laptops, as well as free Wi-Fi. Moreover, the new version is equipped with a filtration system able to remove harmful gases from the incoming air.
LEVC will offer free service for the first three years or for the first 90,000 miles and it will also provide free roadside assistance for the first 120,000 miles.
Although the price of the fare is the same as the traditional black cabs, the price of the vehicle is £10,000 more. This means that drivers interested in the TX hybrid cab will need to pay £55,000 instead of £45,000 which is the price of the newest petrol equivalent.
As London recently passed a new rule requiring new cabs in London to be at least hybrids after 2018, it is expected that more than 9,000 hybrid black cabs will hit the roads by 2021- almost half the current black cab fleet.
Richard Gordon, LEVC commercial director, said: “I am delighted to announce such a competitive package for the new electric TX. Market leading in every way, this is a truly outstanding new vehicle that will revolutionise the taxi trade in London from an emissions perspective, for passenger comfort, experience and enjoyment, and importantly for the drivers”.
Chris Gubbey, CEO of the LEV, 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”.