London’s first electric cab
- TfL currently anticipate that, by the end of 2020, 9000 of London’s 23,000 black cabs
will be “zero emission capable” vehicles.
- Cabbie David Harris expects to save £500-£600 a month by switching over from his current diesel cab to the new electric TX, in fuel savings, servicing and overall running costs.
- All-new TX is powered by LEVC’s eCity technology comprising advanced electric powertrain with a small back-up petrol ‘range extender’ generator for a range of up to 400 miles including 80 miles range with zero emissions.
- Active and passive safety systems include forward collision warnings, autonomous emergency braking and emergency brake assistance, plus extremely strong, rigid aluminium bodyshell with crash protection to the highest international standards.
- With investment totalling £325m, LEVC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Geely,
aims to be the urban commercial vehicle provider of choice for cities across the globe. Its commercial vehicle strategy will see the new TX launch followed by an electric LCV.
THIS week saw a milestone for the capital as London’s first electric cab – a TX taxi from the London EV Company (LEVC) – started its money-saving clean air operation.
Happy cabbie David Harris, 46, from Chingford in north East London, a black cab driver for 21 years, was one of the first to put down a deposit for the new electric taxi when order books opened in the summer of 2017.
Prior to being a cabbie, Harris was a professional tennis player, spending 40 weeks of the year travelling the world.
These days, he tours the streets of London and in the new TX will be doing so in unrivalled comfort. As will his passengers, thanks to class-leading wheelchair accessibility and features such as on-board wifi, phone/laptop charging, a much more spacious cabin with six seats, wide opening rear-hinged doors, contactless card machines and an expansive panoramic roof.
It is the world’s cleanest, most advanced taxi, offering zero emissions motoring thanks to eCity technology comprising an advanced battery electric powertrain with a small back-up petrol generator that gives a total range of up to 400 miles including 80 miles pure electric driving.
Covering the whole of London and generally starting his shifts at midnight, Harris expects to save £500-£600 a month by switching over from his current diesel cab to the new electric TX, in fuel savings, servicing and overall running costs.
Even though EV advocate Harris can’t charge his TX at home as he doesn’t have off-street parking, he won’t be letting that put him off as he’ll incorporate a top-up charge into his daily visit to Heathrow, as the airport features a number of dedicated rapid chargers for electric taxis.
He said: “I’m absolutely delighted to get the keys to my new TX electric taxi and there are two reasons I bought the cab. First, I can’t wait to see the response from passengers, I know that they’re going to love it. And second, I’m going to see some a significant savings on running the electric taxi.
“Even though I can’t charge the vehicle at home, I should be able to charge the cab once a day at Heathrow. Combined with lower servicing and overall running costs, this means I should end up £500-£600 a month better off before I even go out to work.”
Chris Gubbey, CEO of the LEVC, said: “Hearing how this vehicle will impact his life, and the vast savings he will make month after month, is just fantastic. We can’t wait to see and hear the reaction from passengers as they experience the new TX for the first time.”
Unlike the previous taxi, the vehicle’s multi-filter system works to remove gases and particles from the incoming air. In addition, an in-built air quality sensor also automatically closes the external air intake if it detects increased levels of pollution in the outside air – protecting passengers, and the driver, from the capital’s often poor-quality air.
The TX, LEVC’s new electric taxi – how much, how far
- The TX is priced at £177 per week including battery lease over five years (or £55,599 OTR) which compares with £167 per week (or £45,945 OTR) for the previous diesel taxi.
- Average cabbie set to save £100 a week in fuel costs over its diesel predecessor. Further cost savings come from service intervals that jump from 12,000 miles to 25,000 miles, while the TX is quicker to repair resulting in less downtime.
- The TX eCity platform will give drivers a range of 80 miles on pure electric, and a combined range of up to 400 miles with range extender generator, enough for London to Edinburgh or Paris without once needing to stop for fuel.
- TX’s battery is covered by a five-year unlimited mileage warranty.
- Combination of old and new reflected in the look of the vehicle with rectangular grille and circular headlights incorporated into more contemporary design, with daytime running lights, simplified lines, and an inset chrome frame to the grille. Rear-hinged passenger door with 90° opening provides a more opulent entry and exit for passengers.
- As well as the more premium feel, passengers will notice less vibration and noise in the passenger cabin, alongside charging points for mobile phones, Wi-fi and additional space for six passengers.
- The cab retains renowned disability access features with new retractable integrated ramp making it quicker and easier for drivers to load passengers in wheelchairs in a new forward facing position.
- Other accessibility features include induction loops for hearing aids a well as contrasting grab handles and seat edges for the partially sighted.
- The new vehicle includes an on-board satnav to help drivers identify congestion and plan alternative routes, and future
software updates will allow access to online charge-point maps and hailing apps for taking bookings