First electric black cabs rolled out onto the streets of London

Londoners are now able to flag down the first fully-certified electric cabs as the rollout onto the streets of the capital has begun. 

The London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) unveiled the electric taxis back in July, started testing in October and now have wheeled out the first TX models in time for Transport for London’s January 2018 deadline when all newly licensed taxis are required to be zero emission capable. While there is just a handful on the roads this week, the LEVC hopes the number of electric taxis operating across London will grow to the hundreds by January.

The vehicles have been put through rigorous testing including extreme weather conditions in the Arctic Circle and Arizona, plus thousands of miles in the hands of real cab drivers in London. The new taxis have a small petrol generator with an advanced battery electric powertrain, giving drivers a range of 80 miles on pure electric, and a combined range of up to 400 miles. Passengers will benefit from six seats, contactless card machines, on-board Wi-Fi and USB charging.

Chris Gubbey, chief executive of the LEVC, said: “After extensive testing, LEVC’s new taxi is ready to do the job it was made for: transport people around this great city of London safely, cleanly and stylishly. Better for passengers, more cost effective for drivers, it will play a major role in helping to improve air quality benefiting all Londoners. I am immensely proud of the work we have carried out so far: we have produced a new icon, the world’s most advanced electric taxi.”

The unveiling took place at Circus West Village, the first phase of the Battersea Power Station regeneration. The entire site has been designed to futureproof for a mass adoption of electric vehicles with the infrastructure for almost 1,000 electric charging points planned and the flexibility to increase that. The first 57 charging points are now available for use at Circus West Village.

Shirley Rodrigues, deputy mayor for environment and energy, said: “These new electric taxis are at the forefront of green transport technology and 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. It’s great to have the first electric taxis on London’s streets and a testament to London’s leadership and that of LEVC. I look forward to seeing many more taxis on London’s street in the coming months.”

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