► New black cab factory opens
► Coventry base for new PHEV
► Plug-in hybrid taxi hails in 2017
The London Taxi Company has opened a new state-of-the-art factory in Britain to build its new 2018 plug-in hybrid cab.
The site in Ansty, Coventry, is claimed to be the UK’s first dedicated electric vehicle manufacturing facility - and it’s also the first all-new car factory to built here for more than a decade.
Owner Geely has spent more than £300 million on the project, which will create 1000 new jobs including 200 engineers. The site covers everything from R&D through to final build.
New 2018 London taxi: hailing the electric era
This is dubbed ‘the world’s first purpose-built, mass-market electric taxi’ and it will go on sale in autumn 2017 in London with sales worldwide in 2018. Under the familiar black cab silhouette lurks a new plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) drivetrain.
Underpinning the EV technology is a raft of Volvo battery know-how, electric control systems and ‘a new EV lightweight platform, while retaining the iconic design heritage recognised around the world.’
Volvo EV tech: powering the new 2018 London taxi
Expect to see further iterations of this electric architecture in future Geely group products, including Volvos. We can’t think of many better testbeds to give a new platform a thorough work-out - taxis typically endure high-mileage work-outs and lots of stop-start driving in busy urban environments, conditions well suited to a range-extended drivetrain.
The aluminium-bodied new cab will carry six passengers and remains accessible to wheelchair users.
London Taxi Company’s new West Midlands factory will have capacity to build more than 20,000 cabs a year, with exports due around the globe.
We catch the new 2018 London taxi on icy winter test