The maker of the iconic black cab has unveiled its new electric taxis which should be plying the streets of London for fares by November.
The London Taxi Company, will rebrand as the London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) and has plans to export the new TX model worldwide.
The electric taxis recharge in just 30 minutes and will run for 70 miles using battery power but it can switch to petrol drive for a further 400 miles.
Plans for 150 TX electric taxis in London by end of year
Chris Gubbey, the chief executive of the firm, which was bought by Chinese car manufacturer Geely in 2013, hopes to have up to 150 TX electric taxis on the capital’s streets before the end of the year.
He said: “Diesel cabs will disappear, this is the way forward. But that won’t be as immediate as people think.”
Under Transport for London (TfL) rules coming into effect on January 1 all new black cabs will need to be electric taxis, or capable of producing zero emissions.
Combined with an age limit for the cabs of 15 years, that means the last diesel taxis should be phased out by 2032.
Electric taxis to be fuelled by network of charging points
The new black cab fleet will be fuelled by a network of 80 taxi-only charging points by the start of next year. The number is expected to rise to 150 by the end of 2018, and to 300 by 2020.
The average driver of a black cab covers 120 miles a day, so most of the time the taxis would be battery powered and running without emissions.
Gubbey anticipates the electric motor will also, eventually, mean an end to lines of idling black cabs belching toxic fumes at train stations.
Oxford City Council is among the local authorities in this country to have announced plans to introduce electric taxis by 2018 but the company is also assessing the international market.
Company eyes lucrative overseas market for its electric taxis
They anticipate a wealth of opportunity as cities across Europe and beyond begin to enforce stricter vehicle standards to cut air pollution.
The firm has already received an order for 225 electric taxis from the Amsterdam cab operator, RMC.
If you own a cab you may struggle to get the right insurance and that will be complicated even further if you are operating an electric vehicle. With more than 40 years experience sourcing specialist insurance policies Adrian Flux is sure to be able to point you in the right direction.