Electric taxi gets approval to work across London

London Electric Vehicle Company

LEVC believes the taxi will "play a major role" in helping to improve air quality in the capital, and has reported that it has received thousands expressions of interest in London for the new electric TX since order books opened in August.

The new cabs will cost NZ $107,508 to buy - something cabbies aren't happy about. "Better for passengers, more cost effective for drivers, it will play a major role in helping to improve air quality benefiting all Londoners", he said.

There's also an expansive panoramic roof, wide opening rear hinged doors and a more spacious cabin which gives the auto class-leading wheelchair accessibility; and unrivaled ride comfort thanks to air conditioning and a spacious six seat cabin. The taxi is powered by an electric motor and 1.5-litre petrol engine and can travel from London to Manchester and back again without needing to stop to refuel.

The TX cabs cost £55,599, compared with the £45,000 of the newest petrol equivalent, but LEVC says it will save drivers around £100 a week on fuel.

Unlike the previous taxi, the vehicle's multi-filter system works to remove gases and particles from the incoming air.

So the future of taxi transport looks to be cleaner, slicker and more comfortable for Londoners.

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I took a ride in the new hybrid-taxi this morning - and it is certainly impressive. So much so that you realise just how noisy the rest of the traffic really is. These include forward collision warnings, autonomous emergency breaking and emergency brake assistance, while the TX combines an extremely strong, rigid aluminium body shell with crash protection to the highest worldwide standards, reinforcing the black cab trade's reputation for safety. "They were anxious about how long the batteries would last, where they'd be able to charge them, and how they would pay for the new £55,000 (NZ $107,508) design". Now it needs to persuade its customers that the new machine can survive in the cut and thrust of city driving.

There are concerns however that there simply aren't enough charge points in the capital (or elsewhere) to be able to keep electric cabs going now.

An £18m scheme to install 75 rapid charging stations by the end of this year - which can load vehicles in 30 minutes - is reportedly behind schedule.

Commenting this morning, general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, Steve McNamara, said: "The taxi trade welcomes the arrival of this ultra clean 21st century vehicle".

He added: "We're constantly being told about technology and innovation, but they can't even put a few chargers on the street so what chance have we got?"

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