Range-Extended London Taxi Prepares For Zero-Emission Service

A neo-classic London cab propelled by a powertrain like that of a Chevy Volt will soon be able to travel emission-free to comply with tough new rules.

The cab by Geely subsidiary London Taxi Company was shown testing its new TX5 model this week as it’s being readied for an Ultra Low Emissions Zone that is going into force beginning in 2018. The Zone, which is comprised of most of Central London, will begin to phase out all gasoline and diesel engines over the next several years. All vehicles entering the Zone will be required to be zero-emissions or pay an additional £12.50 (roughly $15) per day.

Working with its fellow Geely subsidiary Emerald Automotive, the underpinnings of the TX5 will be a space frame aluminum chassis. The architecture will find its way into other vehicles, including a delivery van from Emerald and possible minibus. Emerald is also planning to bid on replacing mail trucks from the U.S. Postal Service.

To comply with the new regulations, the TX5 will use a range-extender gasoline engine to charge a battery pack that will allow the vehicle to be in pure EV mode for at least 30 miles.

SEE ALSO: Range Extended Electric London Taxi

The fast-charging infrastructure in London has not kept pace with demand, and while there is more investment to build it out, LTC’s CEO Peter Johansen said the range-extender is a better fit for taxis.

“A taxi driver will do 150-200 miles in a day, so the idea is that the driver will top-up once during the day and travel the rest on electric power,” Johansen said.

A new plant near Coventry will eventually have capacity to build 35,000 units and is scheduled to open next week.

Autocar


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