LEVC TX in Germany

London taxi launched to German taxi drivers

LEVC TX in GermanyThe latest high-tech hybrid-electric version of the iconic London taxi, the LEVC TX, has been launched to the German taxi market in Berlin. The British firm is now going to partner up with Volvo Germany to sell and distribute them.

Priced from €59,950 (£52,500), the LEVC electric taxi launch in Germany comes after “huge interest from cities across the country”. The company is targeting both the contract taxi market, and operators of larger street taxis. Mobility service providers are another potential area of business.

The first customers for the new cab will be announced next week.

Boasting an 80-mile pure-electric range and, thanks to the backup petrol generator, a 377-mile total range, the firm believes it will help Germany lessen the risk of missing its 2020 carbon reduction targets.

“Everyone is realising that the goals of the ‘energy transition’ and improvement of air quality can only be achieved if more electric cars drive on German roads,” said LEVC chairman Carl-Peter Forster. “We can help with our TX.”

Although the launch model is offered in traditional German taxi beige, other colours are available, says the firm. It says the traditional beige colour is actually being abandoned by a lot of German cities.

LEVC TX in Germany

German LEVC TX cabs differ little to British ones, although they are all flat-roofed, with no integrated light, because of regulations. A happy by-product of this re-engineering is the ability to meet demand outside the taxi sector: the firm reports growing demand from transport service providers, who are considering using it for contract and shuttle services.  

A panic button has also been installed, again to meet regulations.

German taxi drivers are in for a treat, said Chris Gubbey, CEO of LEVS. “Our TX combines a first-class electric drive with a range extender. This saves taxi drivers up to €440 a month in fuel costs and ensures this electric vehicle is always on the road.”

Volvo Car Mobility M

M is Volvo’s new mobility brand

Volvo Car Mobility MVolvo Cars has launched a new mobility brand called M. Coming first to Sweden and the U.S. in spring 2019, it is an app-based service that offers on-demand cars and services.

M will, says the firm, therefore expand Volvo from merely being a car manufacturer into a fully-fledged mobility services provider. It is already offering subscriptions to cars through the app-based Care by Volvo service; Volvo M is a further development of this.

Volvo Cars president and chief executive Håkan Samuelsson said it was part of the firm’s answer to a new generation of motorists that don’t want to own cars. “We recognise that urban consumers are rethinking traditional car ownership… we are evolving to become a direct-to-consumer services provider under our new mission ‘Freedom to Move’.”

Volvo XC60 T6

The Volvo M app is better than today’s services such as Uber or other on-demand mobility solutions, said Bodil Eriksson, CEO of Volvo Car Mobility. “We’re focused on the way people use the cars they own, which sets us apart.

“We aim to provide a real alternative to that experience. It should enable us to live life on our terms, getting things done and maximising precious time. We see the opportunity to offer a premium experience.”

M will also provide Volvo Cars with a new revenue stream. Samuelsson hopes it will become a core part of his strategy to “build more than five million direct customer relationships” by 2025.

Volvo will beta-test M in Stockholm this autumn, he said. It is partnering with car-sharing company Sunfleet in Sweden, which will be fully integrated into M by 2019. Ahead of this, Volvo will reveal more details about the M service, including pricing and other functions.

Volvo M is just the latest example of how the firm is embracing new technology. Building upon Care by Volvo, it recently launched the hottest version of the new S60 only through the app (and it sold out in minutes). Volvo is also the first car company to offer test drives through Amazon Prime – a service so tempting, it recently had to bring it back by popular demand.