£300M plant opened to build new electrified Black Cab
The London Taxi Company is to open a £300M plant in Warwickshire that will birth the new electrified black cab.
A new fleet of range-extender electric black cabs will go on sale later this year, The London Taxi Company has opened a new £300 million factory in Warwickshire that will produce an electric version of the iconic London cab.
The London Taxi company is owned by Geely, the Chinese automotive firm, they also own Volvo and has said the factory will create over 1,000 new jobs. The new plant has the ability to build over 20,000 vehicles annually, focusing on the range-extender black cab first, then other vehicles based around the same powertrain.
The facility will also house a research and development centre for EV powertrains and lightweight body structures. The technology has been described by The London Taxi Company as ‘cutting edge’ and is being developed under the partnership with other Geely-owned companies.
LTC has said electrified taxis will use proven Volvo electronic powertrain technology, yet didn’t disclose any information regarding powertrain specification.
The London Taxi Company has said drivers will only have to fill-up once per day for the range-entender model. They said: “A taxi driver will do 150-200 miles in a day, so the idea is the driver will top-up once during the day and travel the whole day on electric power.”
They will go on sale in autumn this year, closely inline with the new Transport for London legislation, set to come into place on 1st January 2018. New legislation requires all new cabs to have a “zero-emissions capable” range of over 30 miles.
This new move for zero-emission/more economical taxis is also great for business, as LTC are planning to export the taxi globally, deliveries are scheduled to start in 2018.
“Today marks the rebirth of the London Taxi Company.” Said Chris Gubbey, LTC chief executive. He continued: “A company with a singular vision; to design and build dedicated urban commercial vehicles that can operate without emissions in cities around the world and bring down running costs for drivers.”
The London Mayor and TfL have played a significant role in setting the taxi industry onto the right path for a more sustainable future, they have also committed to building a dedicated charging network for commercial vehicle drivers and “world leading zero emission licensing requirements”.