There is a contented smile of satisfaction on David Harris’s face as he looks over his stunning, quiet taxi, considered the world’s most advanced electric taxi. Black cab driver David Harris was the first cabbie to receive the keys to LEVC’s (London EV Company’s) new TX electric taxi. His first fare-paying passenger had the pleasure of smooth top-of-the-line transit. Besides the significant environmental savings, there is fresher air inside and out. I am sure the ride is considerably smoother than the norm as well.
Harris, a former professional tennis player, has been a driver for 21 years. He expects to save several hundred pounds a month in overall running costs versus his old diesel cab.
Regarding the momentous transition and lucky position at the head of the line (well, he put down the first deposit), David Harris 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 saving 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.”
A recent press release sent to CleanTechnica presents more of the good news for drivers and pedestrians alike (aside from cleaner air to breathe while walking):
• All-new TX is powered by LEVC’s eCity technology comprising of an advanced electric powertrain with a small backup petrol generator
• e-City technology allows for a range of up to 400 miles including 80 miles range with zero emissions, helping to improve urban air quality for all Londoners
• TX is ready to revolutionise the passenger experience with more space, 6 passenger seats, forward facing wheelchair access, power sockets for laptops, USB ports, onboard wifi, an expansive panoramic roof and active & passive safety systems making it the world’s most advanced taxi
• Momentous handover marked at LEVC’s main London dealership in Brewery Road, north London, with the first fare-paying passenger collected moments later in central London
• Deliveries of the new TX have now begun in earnest with hundreds due to hit London streets in the coming months
Here’s more about Harris as well: “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 onboard 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.”
“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. An EV advocate, even though 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.”
Chris Gubbey, CEO of LEVC, said: “It’s a momentous day for LEVC and the TX. It’s the first of many clean-air, zero-emission taxis that will be hitting the streets of London, and we are just as excited as David is. 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.”
Besides being a clean-air vehicle in terms of tailpipe emissions, the new electric black taxi also offers a fresher ride on the inside via advanced technology. “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.”
As you can see, humans are top of mind with this vehicle, and that comes to safety as well, which is again improved for the drivers, passengers, and pedestrians: “World-class active and passive safety systems will help to protect both the vehicle and other road users too. These include forward collision warnings, autonomous emergency braking and emergency brake assistance, while the TX combines an extremely strong, rigid aluminium body shell with crash protection to the highest international standards, reinforcing the black cab trade’s reputation for safety. Underpinned by an investment totalling £325m, LEVC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Geely, has the single-minded ambition to be the urban commercial vehicle provider of choice for cities across the globe. Its commercial vehicle strategy will see the new TX launched first followed by an electric LCV.”
The London-themed black taxi will do well in hotter weather come summer as well. CleanTechnica earlier reported on the taxi’s performance in Arizona. “London Taxi Company’s new range-extended electric black cab performs quite well in high heat conditions, as determined by recent comprehensive testing in Arizona, the company has revealed. The testing was undertaken apparently as a means of demonstrating that the new London Taxi Company product could perform in the sorts of hot, desert environments that some interested potential buyers are situated in (Dubai, etc.).”
Will we see the TX eCity in the UAE next or in Norway?