Geely’s London Taxi Company wants to lead the charge to sustainable urban mobility – and towards the end of this year will release the world’s first zero emission capable purpose-built taxi on to the streets of the UK and Europe.
The London Taxi Company (LTC) today announced the official opening of the UK’s first car plant dedicated solely to the production of electric vehicles with range extenders. This new, state-of-the-art, vehicle plant in Ansty, Coventry, is where the world’s first purpose-built, mass-market electric taxi will be built.
LTC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Geely, has invested more than £300m in the new production facility and the next-generation London taxi, which will be produced and exported around the world.
The technology behind the new factory and vehicle is cutting edge. It has been developed with other members of the Geely group, including Volvo Cars, whilst drawing on LTC’s heritage and expertise in the development of purpose-built taxis.
The site has the capacity to build more than 20,000 vehicles per year – vehicles designed for, and dedicated to one task: to be the best ultra-low emission commercial vehicles in the world. The taxi vehicle is using proven Volvo Car electric powertrain system technologies and components comprising a new Electric Vehicle light weight platform, while retaining the iconic design heritage recognised around the world. Further derivatives of this new Electric Vehicle architecture will follow.
The vehicle retains its key features such as being wheelchair accessible, having a high level of manoeuvrability whilst incorporating new features like a spacious cabin area with six passenger seats and a highly sophisticated electric drivetrain.
Chris Gubbey, Chief Executive of the London Taxi Company, said: “Today marks the rebirth of the London Taxi Company. A company with a singular vision; to design and build dedicated urban commercial vehicles that can operate without emissions in cities around the world and bring down running costs for drivers.“
The all-new electric taxi goes on sale first in London in quarter four 2017, and then globally in early 2018.
Not sure if the public transport industry in Malaysia or in the Southeast Asia (except Singapore) will have the chance to experience commuting in one of the LTC’s electric taxis. In Malaysia the upfront cost of purchasing a gasoline powered taxi – locally produced Proton Saga, which is relatively affordable with a price-tag approx. RM35,000 (USD7,900) – compared to the cheapest electric vehicle Nissan Leaf approx. RM180,000 (USD40,678). However, Geely’s LTC stated in a press release the new electric taxi will be highly competitive priced with substantially lower fuel costs than its previous taxis- A statement which we believe to be applicable to most markets around the world except for Malaysia – for now.