Published on January 23rd, 2014 | by Nicholas Brown


Specifications For EREV London Cab Revealed

January 23rd, 2014 by  

Frazer-Nash and Ecotive have been developing an extended range electric vehicle (EREV) for use as a taxi in London and other UK cities. It is called a Metrocab. The EREV utilizes two rear-mounted electric motors (50 kW each), with one at each wheel for propulsion. Those motors are powered by a 12.2 kWh lithium-ion (lithium polymer, in this case) battery bank which can be recharged using a standard power outlet.

Metrocab EREV

The extended range electric Metrocab.
Image Credit: The official Metrocab website.

The battery bank is recharged by a 1-litre petrol engine-powered generator, and regenerative braking. The full range is 350 miles. CO2 Emissions are less than 50g/km. Key points include the claim that it is designed, engineered, and built in Britain; has more than a million miles of testing and ten years of development; and the fact that the battery pack is installed in the floor, which is one reason for the Tesla Model S’s ample interior room. Unless the vehicle was extended, batteries would occupy a significant portion of the interior space otherwise.

“The all-new Range Extended Electric Metrocab has been in development since the mid-2000s with several prototypes built and over a million kilometers of engineering tests completed,” said Metrocab Chairman Sir Charles Masefield. “Instantly recognizable as an iconic London Hackney Cab, with a panoramic glass roof for views of the city, our new all-British London cab offers, for no price premium, completely new levels of economy, emissions and passenger comfort and is ready to enter service this year, benefiting the passenger, driver, city and environment alike.”

Other characteristics include:

  • Driver multi-function touch screen display and instrument cluster with color display.
  • Passenger color TV display.
  • USB charging socket.
  • Digital infotainment system.
  • Hands-free telephone.
  • Air conditioning and heating.
  • Anti-lock braking system (ABS).
  • 3-seater rear bench seat – fore/aft adjustable for more luggage space when required.
  • 3 rear facing flip down seats.
  • 1 optional front passenger seat.
  • Full wheelchair access with integrated wheelchair ramp.
  • Panoramic glass roof.
  • Mood Lighting.
  • Air suspension.
  • A top speed of 80 mph, which isn’t lower than most speed limits, so this shouldn’t be an issue.

h/t GM-Volt

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About the Author

writes on CleanTechnica, Gas2, Kleef&Co, and Green Building Elements. He has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography. His website is:

  • Burnerjack

    I’d be curious to know who manufactures the motors and control system. As I read the “characteristics”, this article seems more of a sales blurb than information.

  • JamesWimberley

    Nice design. Taxis are low-hanging fruit for EVs. With their daily mileage concentrated in the inner city, the pollution benefits from the switch are considerable.

    On average a London taxi travels only 30 miles per day for hire (640,000 miles divided by 22,000 taxis). Source: So the 1 litre petrol engine for recharging looks over-engineered even with current battery range, which will improve rapidly. Most EV cabs will be recharged twice a day during meal breaks. The engine is only useful for airport runs.

    • Burnerjack

      The best motive application, as far as efficiency goes, closely matches primary mover output to load demand. For this reason, EVs realize greater benefit from stop and go usage rather than long distance “droning”. Using the battery to decouple the engine from the varying load overcomes the inherent inefficiency of multiple energy conversions.

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