London’s first new electric taxi swept onto the streets of central London after becoming the first new electric taxi to be officially certified by Transport for London’s test centre.
It did so only after manufacturer LEVC (London EV Company) overcame a glitch that meant taxi meters were unable to “speak” to the new vehicle, causing delays to the licensing process. Costing from £55,599 (£177 a week over five years, £10 more per week than diesel models), it is the first of 9,000 new zero-emission electric black cabs to be on London’s roads by 2020.
The emissions-free TX eCity has a range of 80 miles on electricity alone, though its batteries can be topped up by its on-board 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol powered generator, giving a maximum range of about 400 miles.
The electric engine does not directly drive the new cab’s wheels, only charging up the batteries.
The new TX has the black cab’s legendary tight turning circle, seating for six passengers, plug-in points to charge passengers’ mobile phones and laptops, a glass panoramic roof enabling visitors to soak up London’s famous landmarks, and is claimed to be the most advanced taxi ever, after £325?million investment by LEVC parent company Geely, of China.