London’s second-largest minicab operator has pulled the plug on a plan to put 50 electric taxis into service in the capital.
Green Tomato Cars, which already operates a fleet of 500 Prius hybrids, signed a deal with Chinese EV maker BYD in 2012 to purchase 50 of BYD’s E6 EVs. Alas, this week Green Tomato announced that the two companies had “mutually decided that we will not pursue this venture further.” No details were offered.
A new firm may take up the torch, however. Thriev, which offers a chauffeur service using LEAFs, has acquired 20 of the unwanted E6s, and plans to put them into service as minicabs. The company told The Telegraph that it has installed two BYD rapid chargers at its depot, and has an agreement with British Gas to build a network of fast chargers across London. Thriev plans to expand its fleet to 1,000 EVs within 18-24 months.
The future of London’s public transport system is looking pretty electric. With the encouragement of Mayor Boris Johnson, a couple of BYD battery-electric buses have gone into service, and a company called Ecotive has an electric version of the famous black taxi in real-world trials. Transport for London recently selected a subsidiary of the France-based Bolloré Group to manage Source London, the capital’s EV charging network.