Published on April 4th, 2017 | by James Ayre0
London Taxi Company Going Electric (#CleanTechnica Original)
April 4th, 2017 by James Ayre
The UK’s first auto manufacturing plant dealing solely with range-extended electric vehicles was recently opened by the London Taxi Company in Ansty, Coventry. The new facility possesses an annual production capacity of more than 20,000 vehicles. Just before the opening, CleanTechnica recorded the following video at EV-Box’s rEVolution 2017. The video notes several details regarding the London Taxi Company’s new range-extended electric taxi as well as the company’s new manufacturing facility. (See the slides here.)
To date, the London Taxi Company (owned by Geely) has reportedly invested some £300 million into the development of the new manufacturing facility and the London range-extended electric taxi itself.
Considering that the primary backer is the China-based firm Geely, it seems fairly likely that a substantial number of the units produced at the factory will eventually end up in China. London (and the wider region as well) will of course get some units as well.
Interestingly, accompanying the opening of the manufacturing plant, the London Taxi Company also revealed that it was developing a range-extended electric light commercial van to be produced at the plant. As a result of the fact that the vehicle platform is the same as the taxi, the van will reportedly only require £30 million in new investment funding to bring to market.
Green Car Congress provides more: “The taxi uses proven Volvo Cars electric powertrain system technologies and components in the new EV lightweight platform, while retaining the iconic design heritage recognized around the world. (Geely also owns Volvo Cars.)
“Each test vehicle will cover almost 500,000 kilometers, often in extreme conditions, to ensure that no city is off-limits. This program is intended to deliver world-leading urban commercial vehicles, which meet the highest levels of quality, reliability and usability, purposefully designed for demanding daily drive cycles.”
The range-extended electric taxi is expected to hit the London market in Quarter 4 2017, and to hit the global market in early 2018.
As noted toward the end of the CleanTechnica video above, London has a law in place whereby new taxi registrations from January 1, 2018, onward must be zero-emissions vehicles [edit: the vehicles must be zero emission capable]. London Taxi Company is ready.
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