Some day India too would have
an all-electric taxi with some great features. For the moment, it’s over to
London. The very first all-new electric TX taxi from the London EV Company
(LEVC) has been handed over to a very eager and excited cabbie.
Underpinned by an investment
totalling £325m (Rs 2900 crore), LEVC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Geely, has
the single-minded ambition to be the urban commercial vehicle provider of
choice for cities across the globe. Its commercial vehicle strategy will see
the new TX launched first followed by an electric LCV.
David Harris, 46, from
Chingford in north East London has been a Black Cab driver for 21 years and was
one of the first to put down a deposit for the new electric taxi when order books
opened back in the summer of 2017.
Prior to being a cabbie,
Harris was a professional tennis player, spending 40 weeks of the year
travelling the world. These days, he tours the streets of London and in the new
TX will be doing so in unrivalled comfort. As will his passengers thanks to
class-leading wheelchair accessibility and features such as on-board wifi,
phone/laptop charging, a much more spacious cabin with six seats, wide opening
rear hinged doors, contactless card machines and an expansive panoramic roof.
Taking delivery of his new TX
at LEVC’s Brewery Road headquarters Harris was delighted to receive the keys to
the world’s cleanest, most advanced taxi ever, a revolution in the taxi market
offering zero emissions motoring thanks to eCity technology comprising of an advanced
battery electric powertrain with a small back-up petrol generator that gives a
total range of up to 400 miles (644km approx.) including 80 miles (129km) pure
Covering the whole of London
and generally starting his shifts at midnight, Harris expects to save £500-£600
(Rs 44,614 to Rs 53538 approx.) a month by switching over from his current
diesel cab to the new electric TX, in fuel savings, servicing and overall
running costs. An EV advocate, even though Harris can’t charge his TX at home,
as he doesn’t have off-street parking, he won’t be letting that put him off as
he’ll incorporate a top-up charge into his daily visit to Heathrow, as the
airport features a number of dedicated rapid chargers for electric taxis.
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, CEO 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.”
Unlike the previous taxi, the
vehicle’s multi-filter system works to remove gases and particles from the
incoming air. In addition, an in-built air quality sensor also automatically
closes the external air intake if it detects increased levels of pollution in
the outside air – protecting passengers, and the driver, from the capital’s
often poor-quality air.
World-class active and passive
safety systems will help to protect both the vehicle and other road users too.
These include forward collision warnings, autonomous emergency breaking and
emergency brake assistance, while the TX combines an extremely strong, rigid
aluminium body shell with crash protection to the highest international
standards, reinforcing the black cab trade’s reputation for safety.
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