London's black cabs go electric and Japan embraces autonomy

London Electric Vehicle Company

Today is a red-letter day in the life of the London taxi: LEVC (London EV Company)'s all-new electric TX taxi is now fully certified to carry fare-paying passengers.

LEVC believes the taxi will "play a major role" in helping to improve air quality in the capital, and has reported that it has received thousands expressions of interest in London for the new electric TX since order books opened in August.

Chris Gubbey, boss of manufacturer the London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) insists the cab will "play a major role in helping to improve air quality".

The TX will carry up to six adults and provide air conditioning and a panoramic sunroof, so tourists can enjoy all of London's sights.

There's also an expansive panoramic roof, wide opening rear hinged doors and a more spacious cabin which gives the vehicle class-leading wheelchair accessibility; and unrivaled ride comfort thanks to air conditioning and a spacious six seat cabin. Hailed as "the world's most advanced electric taxi", cabbies can expect to get in the driving seat of the TX eCity taxi later this month.

From 1 January 2018, all taxis presented for licensing for the first time in London will need to be zero emission capable and emit no more than 50g/km Carbon dioxide with a minimum 30 mile zero emission range. "This will help to accelerate improvements to London's toxic air", said Shirley Rodrigues, Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy. The taxi is powered by an electric motor and 1.5-litre petrol engine and can travel from London to Manchester and back again without needing to stop to refuel.

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LEVC, formerly the London Taxi Company, is based in Ansty Park, Coventry where Geely has invested more than £315million to create the new generation of electric taxis.

The TX also comes with a filtration system which removes harmful gases from 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.

Transport for London estimates that by the end of 2020, 9,000 of London's 23,000 black cabs will meet the new eco standard. That's why inside the new taxi you'll find a lot of Volvo bits and switches since the Chinese automaker also owns Volvo.

Launch of the taxi has also been welcomed by City Hall.

A 60 per cent recharge of the batteries - enough for 50 miles EV operation - can be done in 45 minutes.

LEVC plans to deliver TX models in Europe later in 2018, and then further afield.

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