London’s famous red buses are slowly but steadily going electric, and its iconic black cabs could eventually follow suit.
Zhejiang Geely, owner of the London Taxi Company, which builds the boxy black beauties, has raised $400 million to finance the development of the TX5, a plug-in hybrid version of the classic 1958 FX4, according to Bloomberg.
Geely is opening a new factory in Coventry, where it will soon begin producing a prototype of the TX5. Commercial sales are set to start in the fourth quarter of 2017, just in time for the deadline of January 1, 2018, when London will require all new taxis to be zero-emission-capable.
The factory will have a maximum capacity of 36,000 electric taxis per year, far more than the 23,000 cabs currently serving the streets of London.