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    Categories: Car News

New electric London taxi ready for passengers

The new electric London taxi has now been fully certified for use by fare-paying passengers and LEVC, the firm behind the new cab, has celebrated with an event at Battersea Power Station – on the 65th anniversary of the Great London Smog.

Chairman of LEVC Carl-Peter Forster called the certification a real milestone. “Our new TX has passed all certification tests and is now able to carry fare-paying passengers.

“It will save drivers money, bring new levels of comfort and convenience to those who hail one and provide the safest and cleanest way of getting around a city by taxi.”

From 1 January 2018, all new taxis in London must be Zero Emission Capable (ZEC). This stipulates they should not emit more than 50g/km CO2, and have a minimum 30-mile electric-only range. No new diesel taxis will be registered in London from January 2018.

Luckily, following ordering opening in August 2017, the first TX taxis will be delivered to London cabbies later this month. Shirley Rodrigues, London’s deputy Mayor for environment and energy, said they “will play a transformational role in the Mayor’s plan to phase out diesel and clean up the transport network. This will help to accelerate improvements to London’s toxic air.”

By the end of 2020, hopes London Mayor Sadiq Khan, there will be 9,000 ZEV taxis on London’s roads, from a total fleet of 23,000 black cabs. 

Now it’s been certified in London, LEVC is looking further afield for sales of the new TX cab. “We will deliver new TX models in Europe later in 2018,” said Forster, “and around the world. Our goal is to be the global automotive leader in urban commercial vehicles. We are well on our way to achieving that.”

What is the new LEVC TX London taxi?

The new TX taxi is the most advanced London taxi ever, says LEVC. Passengers are probably going to love it: there’s less noise and vibration than in the rattly, clattery old model, plus more space for six people, charging points for smartphones and even wi-fi connectivity. 

It’s accessed via Rolls-Royce-style rear-hinged doors that open 90 degrees, there’s a massive panoramic glass roof, and it can all be paid for via contactless card machines. 

The new London taxi even helps protect occupants from toxic air. There’s a multi-filter air intake system – and when the onboard pollution sensor detects outside pollution is really bad, it closes the external air intake and recirculates the air within.

The TX has a range of 400 miles, says LEVC – which includes up to 80 miles of zero-emissions electric driving. It achieves this by juggling battery power with, then they run low, electricity generated by a 1.3-litre three-cylinder petrol range extender engine. 

Its fuel efficiency will save cabbies £100 a week in fuel costs, compared to the old diesel taxi. It also has service intervals twice as long and is both easier and faster to repair. The design of the taxi is advanced too. It’s made from aluminium that’s bonded together, a bit like the tech used by Lotus and Aston Martin. 

Prices? £55,599 on the road, compared to £45,945 for the old taxi. That’s an increase – but over a five-year deal, it equates to £177 a week, only £10 more than the old taxi… which, reckons LEVC, will be more than accounted for by the fuel cost savings. 

In pictures: new LEVC TX London taxi

Richard Aucock :I'm Managing Director at Motoring Research. I run a bit, cycle a bit, have a huge love for the automotive industry.