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London Gets New Electric Taxis
London Gets New Electric Taxis


Think Electric Taxis Are New? Guess Again

Of course, most readers here know electric taxis are nothing new, but we’d probably be surprised by how many still think they are. But wait … how old are electric taxis exactly?

Of course, most readers here know electric taxis are nothing new, but we’d probably be surprised by how many still think they are. But wait … how old are electric taxis exactly?

Electric Taxis Are Nothing New. But Three Times Is The Lucky Charm

London Gets New Electric Taxis

Most of us know electric cars started out first and were replaced by gasoline-belching engines. Some might even know that Ford’s wife (that’s Ford senior’s wife) went to her grave driving an electric car and never subscribed to the internal combustion engine (ICE) philosophy.

Knowing that history, it shouldn’t be a deep surprise that electric taxis are nothing new either. They existed a hundred years ago and eventually went away as ICE technology became the norm.

Then, there was the second wave of electric vehicles (EV). That was in the early ’70s. As with most waves, fashion, and fads, it was a short-term revival — a knee-jerk reaction to the petroleum shortage that took the world by surprise. All of a sudden, gulping Detroit V8 engines were pushed to the side in favor of smaller, European, more efficient engines. This also gave the new Japanese carmakers a boost. Following this second birth of EVs, there were again electric taxis.

This is an excellent video that gives us a candid look as to what was happening then. As just one press event, an electric taxi was introduced at the London motor show in Earls Court in 1977. But the best part is looking at the performance. The top speed was 50 MPH. And the range? Get ready and sit down … 100 miles per charge!

Perhaps things have come a long way, but in many ways, they really haven’t. Sometimes the “EV revolution” feels like a blitzkrieg, whereas at other times it feels like glaciers melting. But glaciers are melting faster, that much we can agree on.

In the meantime, enjoy this flashback video above.

electric taxi

Finally, showing that the third time might be the lucky strike — and 40 years after that last push — London is embracing electric taxis (as we’ve happily shared a dozen or so times).

It reminds us of the saying: “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

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Written By

Nicolas was born and raised around classic cars of the 1920s, but it wasn't until he drove an AC Propulsion eBox and a Tesla Roadster that the light went on. Ever since he has produced green mobility content on various CleanTech outlets since 2007 and found his home on CleanTechnica. He grew up in an international environment and his communication passion led to cover electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, renewable energy, test drives, podcasts, shoot pictures, and film for various international outlets in print and online. Nicolas offers an in-depth look at the e-mobility world through interviews and the many contacts he has forged in those industries. His favorite taglines are: "There are more solutions than obstacles." and "Yesterday's Future Now"


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