London Taxi opens plant to build plug-in taxis

London Taxi Company

The London Taxi Company (LTC) has opened a new plant to produce what it says is the world’s first purpose-built, mass-market plug-in taxi. LTC, a subsidiary of Chinese automaker Geely, has invested £300 million ($374 million) in the next-generation London taxi, which will be produced at the plant in Ansty, Coventry, and exported around the world.

The site has the capacity to build more than 20,000 vehicles per year. The new taxi uses Volvo electric powertrain components, and retains the classic black cab design recognized around the world.

The new cab will go on sale in London in the fourth quarter of 2017, then globally in early 2018.

The second vehicle model to come off the new line will be a plug-in light commercial van (LCV), based on the same platform as the taxi. LTC expects to bring the new LCV to market with an additional investment of around £30 million ($37 million).

“The manufacturing of this all new light commercial van is a transformative step for the company, as we will [become] a multi-product, multi-market organization,” said Carl-Peter Forster, Chairman of the London Taxi Company.

“The light commercial van sector in cities across the globe holds enormous potential and urban leaders are embracing zero emissions at an incredibly rapid pace,” said Zhou Jianqan, head of Geely’s Commercial Vehicle Division. “This vehicle is a result of the new R&D team based at Ansty.”

 

 

Source: London Taxi Company via Green Car Congress

  • brian_gilbert

    No memtion of a driverless version despite the fact that their new vehicles are is to be exported worldwide. Any minute now a country will wake up to the fact that going completely driverless with hired vehicles is immensely profitable and the others will follow on its coattails. Sales of Vehicles with manual steering gear will drop sharply leaving this company stranded.

    • Vance Vance

      I’ve seen The 6th Day too, but I live in the present. No one ‘wakes up’ to what is already mainstream thought and present-day technologies. Automotive manufacturers continue to recall conventionally-driven (and aimed) motor vehicles for safety issues. Unless you insist also on politically removing the public’s ability to sue for injury and death, or limit liability, then safety continues to rule the roads. Many vehicles are incorporating electrically-assisted power steering now, and can maneuver road-going vehicles without driver input – why should safe operating redundancy be removed?

      • brian_gilbert

        I have not seen ‘6th Day’ so it has not influenced my thought. I am assuming technology is based on that used on batteryi powered Personal Rapid Transit vehicles which have been operating since 1975 driverless without accident within dedicated guideways so no mamually driven vehicles can collide with them. Do a google search for Personal rapid Transit for details. They have not been profitable because of cost of guideways and small number of vehicles and cost of technology. All these problems no longer exist if implemented on a large scale. . China is leading the way and there the western motor manufacturers are accepting that electric vehicles are overtaking ICE from cost point of view. The Chinese government is more concerned with pollution and congestion than western governments so I cannot see them holding back much longer once someone does/checks the huge profitability.

        • Vance Vance

          I investigated the Personal Rapid Transit of Morgantown West Virginia and found it to be an intriguing solution to the University campus expansion in that area. Driverless cars with four-wheel steering confined to an electrified concrete guideway (requiring snow-melting heat) seems to serve well students who had been at the mercy of poor campus accessibility. That system seems more like a Disney amusement park ride than the way of the future. On present-day roadways with paying travelers who require virtually any available destination, cabs (autonomous or not) are pretty much required. Busses and street cars serve large groups who board and disembark mostly at pre-designated locations. Subways, too. China has been undergoing expansion allowing the design of cities to accommodate advanced modes of transit, as well as ‘walkable’ communities having little need for transit. Hyperloop in the United States is developing long distance faster-than-airliner travel for passengers and freight. It would seem that if the current president of the United States has his way, “great” shall mean a return to large, heavy, less safe emissions-belching motor vehicles.