New electric London taxi and new name unveiled.
Although Nissan is still making a feeble attempt to compete, it seems there is only one taxi offering an all-electric package for London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone, starting in January 2018. At an event in London’s historical Docklands the new London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) – formerly London Taxi Company (LTC) – Tuesday unveiled the new electric ‘London’ taxi.
The new cab will keep the TX prefix, but will be called TX eCity. At the same time the company underlined its international aspirations by announcing an order for 225 TX eCity’s by the Rotterdam taxi and mobility company RMC. RMC, one of the largest taxi and mobility companies in The Netherlands will also become importer for the BeNeLux. The vehicles will be delivered at the start of 2018 and will be used for AOV, Amsterdam’s social transportation system currently under contact by RMC.
The final version of the new London Taxi – the TX – and its eCity technology combines an advanced battery electric powertrain with a small petrol generator (range extender). Applied to the all-new electric TX, the technology allows for a range of over 600 km including well over a 105 km range with zero emissions.
Discussing the benefits that the TX will bring to drivers, LEVC CEO Chris Gubbey commented: “From our heritage as the manufacturer of the iconic London Taxi, we have unparalleled insight into the needs of commercial operators. Drawing on the best of British design and engineering as well as technical expertise from our sister company Volvo, our products will help transform city living and provide taxi drivers with an average weekly fuel saving of € 130 compared with our outgoing diesel model.”
Due to launch in London later this year – trial runs for drivers and passengers are expected for October – LEVC is finalising its quality and testing regime for the TX which has already taken the new taxi to the extreme heat of the Arizona desert and freezing temperatures in the Arctic Circle. LEVC expects strong demand from its launch market in London once the order book opens on the 1st August 2017. But comments from taxi drivers Taxi Times interviewed in London’s streets were not quite that favourable: “Let’s see what the price will be first. There are rumours of 60.000 pounds (€ 63.000 –TT) going around. Well, if you have a TX4 or a Mercedes Vito to sell, that has no value anymore for the London market with the new environmental zone where diesels are not allowed.”
LEVC’s Gubbey – who is not giving any indications as to pricing of the new vehicle – commented: “London has led the way in setting out tough measures to reduce taxi and van emissions and in just a few short years we expect EVs for the commercial operator will not just become commonplace, but mandatory in cities around the world creating huge opportunities for LEVC globally.”
So, no TX5 and no London Taxi Company. At the same event LTC has been relaunched as LEVC, marking the next stage in the company’s transformation. Underpinned by an investment totalling £325m (€ 365.5m) LEVC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Chinese car manufacturer Geely, has the single-minded ambition to be the urban commercial vehicle provider of choice for cities around the world.
“Today is an incredibly exciting day for the company, for the world’s cities, for the air we breathe and for the drivers of commercial vehicles”, said Chris Gubbey. “The launch of LEVC marks Britain’s leadership as a first mover in creating the world’s only dedicated electric vehicle company for the urban commercial market.”
A key consideration for the company’s new name and brand positioning is its international strategy, which has been boosted by the news that LEVC has received its first major international order from RMC in The Netherlands for an initial 225 vehicles to be delivered in 2018. Rotterdam’s RMC, one of the Netherlands’ largest taxi operators, has also been appointed as the importer for the BeNeLux and operator in The Netherlands.
Gubbey: “Today’s announcement that RMC will be our importer for the BeNeLux is great news for LEVC and demonstrates the need for EV urban commercial vehicles across Europe and the world. We have been extremely impressed with the vision and business plan presented by the management team at RMC and we look forward to a long and fruitful relationship.”
From August 1 LEVC will be providing personalised purchase propositions to drivers commencing with those that have registered an interest through www.theelectrictaxi.co.uk. wf