London Electric Vehicle Company – LEVC – the company behind the zero-emission capable black cab, has handed over its first new model for use in the capital.
The vehicle, dubbed the TX eCity is powered by a battery electric powertrain with a 1.3 litre petrol engine, made by Volvo. The technology allows for a range of over 400 miles including over 70 miles range with zero emissions.
LEVC believes the taxi can ‘play a major role’ in helping to improve air quality in the capital.
Cab driver David Harris, 46, from Chingford, is the first driver to receive the vehicle, having been won over by the potential fuel savings from using the vehicle.
The cost of a new electric model is around £55,599 – which is higher than the typical cost of a new petrol or diesel taxi – although the vehicle is eligible for some financial incentives to reduce the cost of purchase. LEVC also claims that drivers will benefit from savings in fuel costs if they switch to the new model.
Whilst the Mr Harris does not have access to charging facilities at home, he has claimed that charging facilities at Heathrow Airport will be sufficient to provide his charging requirements.
Access to charging infrastructure is likely to be a crucial aspect of the potential take-up of the cabs, with some drivers concerned that there are not adequate charging facilities, particularly those offering rapid charging, to meet the needs of a significant number of cabbies in the city.
Black cab driver, David Harris, said: “I’m absolutely delighted to get the keys to my new TX electric taxi and there are two reasons I bought the cab. First, I can’t wait to see the response from passengers, I know that they’re going to love it. And second, I’m going to see some a significant savings on running the electric taxi.
“Even though I can’t charge the vehicle at home, I should be able to charge the cab once a day at Heathrow. Combined with lower servicing and overall running costs, this means I should end up £500-£600 a month better off before I even go out to work.”
Chris Gubbey, chief executive of the LEVC, said: “It’s a momentous day for LEVC and the TX. It’s the first of many clean-air, zero emission taxis that will be hitting the streets of London, and we are just as excited as David is.
“Hearing how this vehicle will impact his life, and the vast savings he will make month after month, is just fantastic. We can’t wait to see and hear the reaction from passengers as they experience the new TX for the first time.”