The LEVC TX, a taxi capable of zero emissions and product by the company formerly known as the London Taxi Company, is currently on trial on the capital, on roads where the final validation of the setup will be made.
The model is already available for order, prices from £55,599. The first deliveries are scheduled before the end of the year.
LEVC, which is owned by Geely, the Chinese, the parent of Volvo, is also offering its latest model with a financing plan that charges drivers £177 per week over a period of five years. He said that the outgoing TX4 model cost of £167 per week over a period of four years.
LEVC says that his new model of the factors of costs of approximately € 50 per week in fuel, if they make an average of about 115 km per working day, which is £100 less than the outgoing 2.7-litre diesel-powered TX4 could manage.
The new electric taxi arrives in advance of 2018 to the legislation of Transport for London (TfL), which dictates that all new cabs must have a ” zero-emissions capable range less than 30 miles. The car is powered by an advanced battery electric powertrain with a 1.3-liter gas-powered generator, a system of its creator calls eCity.
This range-extender technology gives the TX a range of over 400 km, and it can operate for more than 70 miles on electric power alone. Although all the technical specifications will be revealed at a later date, it can charge empty to almost full in 20 minutes on a quick charger, in two hours with a rapid charger and after eight to 10 hours on a charge maintenance.
LEVC will provide taxi service for free during the first three years or 90 000 kilometres of their life. It will also provide a full manufacturer warranty and free roadside assistance for the first three years or 120 000 km.
LEVC commercial director Richard Gordon said: “I am delighted to announce such a competitive package for the new electric TX. Market Leader in every sense, it really is a remarkable new vehicle that will revolutionise the London taxi from a programming point of view, for the comfort of the passengers, the experience and the enjoyment, and it is important for the drivers.”
Exclusive: the first exit to new London Black cab up to Goodwood hill
Disguised TX prototype ran at the recent Goodwood Festival of Speed, with the production car still in the testing phase, including exposure to extremes of heat and cold, in Arizona, united states, and the Arctic Circle, respectively. The official pictures have revealed the lengths Geely’s design team has increased to incorporate the iconic London black cab look, especially from the FX4 and TX4.
“The biggest gulp moment of my career was asked to redesign the Volvo sportswagon – it was like taking care of the Swedish crown jewels – but this work is in the right,” said Geely’s vice-president of design, Peter Horbury. “You know, the criticism is going to come on projects like this, and this is another one of the same vein.
“The starting point was to respond to the requirements of such a vehicle – the turning radius, the powertrain, the pilot of the space and load capacity. In truth, what we were left with a square box. To get the shape, then we needed to meet our aesthetic goals was always going to be a challenge, but we pulled and pushed the engineers and, gradually, we have been able to create a car that is a modern interpretation of what happened before. From my point of view on the retro design, is that you should not repeat what has gone before, but you can offer it as a place nods that remind you of people. This is what we have done.
“You also have to remember that this is a vehicle that will typically have 15 to 20 years of life. It is not replaced after seven years as a classic car, so we needed to avoid creating something that would age quickly. If you look at some of the extreme car designs of today, those who grab and shock you, they do not tend to age well. We wanted a look that will stand the test of time and, if it meant toning down at once, then that is what we have done. This car needs to look relevant 20 years down the line.”
The TX is done using aluminium binding, which LEVC said to reduce the weight of the car, to the point that it compensates for the weight of the battery while maintaining the strength of your vehicle. All in all, not the weight of the vehicle has been given, however.
Inside, LEVC said that the TX has a more premium feel than its predecessor, with less vibration and noise in the passenger area, the more charging points for mobile phones and wi-fi. There are seats for six people. Retractable built-in ramp makes easy access for passengers in wheelchairs faster and easier than a new forward-facing.
LEVC CEO Chris Gubbey said: “it is our heritage as the manufacturer of the iconic London taxi, we have an incomparable insight into the needs of commercial operators. Drawing on the best of British design and engineering, as well as the technical expertise of our sister company, Volvo, our products will help transform the life of the city and to provide taxi drivers with an average weekly fuel economy of 100 € compared to our outgoing diesel model.”
The change of name of the firm, the London Taxi Company, London Electric Vehicles of the Company is motivated by the strong desire to expand its sales beyond the united KINGDOM and its portfolio beyond taxis. To this end, an order of more than 250 TXs has been taken to the netherlands and an electric light commercial vehicle is already in development.
By the end of 2020, TfL wants to have 9000 taxis on the streets of the city that are capable of zero emissions. By law, all new taxis sold from 2018 must have the means of electric propulsion and LEVC is hoped that this will encourage local councils to invest in the improvement of the charging infrastructure.
LEVC said it has put emphasis on the duration of weekly costs related to the rental, rather than a simple purchase price because it is the way in which 94% of taxi drivers fund their vehicles. The TX will be sold with its battery, so that no additional lease costs are incurred. Insiders expect costs of ownership of an improvement, and today, worn by the LEVC said to be saving an average of £100 per week on fuel.
New LEVC TX taxi – key design points with David Ancona, director of Design and general manager of the Geely Design of Barcelona
“I learned to drive in a FX3 taxi – it was in the family – so a little bit of this project is in my blood. We started the project in 2013 and the most important challenges to meet all the needs of space inside of the packaging of the powertrain for the turning radius – without ending up with a box on wheels.
“Pushing the engineers of a few millimeters here and there, we managed to reach; it’s amazing to see how pulling in some of the body 5mm and pushing some of the other sections by the same amount can make such a difference.
“From the outside, the face of the car has been probably the most difficult part. In part, this is because it is an all-new vehicle and the requirements kept changing, like other parts of the project developed. You had to install it on a bonnet angle, for example, and then the engineering to find a very good reason to repackage the drivetrain.
“But we also wanted to ensure that we had a contemporary look to the car – one, with a lot of character, but that would not date quickly. It is relatively easy to make aggressive or cute or something, but to find the right balance here was very difficult. You’ll see nods to our past in the round the lights, the grille design and the placement of the card, but nothing too much. The goal was to create a car that passes he is serious, reliable and user-friendly. No doubt the world will let us know if we’ve done that.
“There are certain key features that have contributed to resolve the design. The round headlights at the front, with the circular Leds running around the outside, which also act as indicator flashing, are a nice touch. There are strong horizontal lines on the side to reduce the visual height of the vehicle, and then the continuous glass structure that is used to stretch the car. The panoramic roof is a very nice touch as well as a great way to enjoy the view.
“Equally important are the practical aspects of the design. The rear-hinged rear door, for example, puts an end to this ridiculous dance you had to do from telling the driver where you want to go to get in – or when you tried to pay for it when you have got it. They open at 90deg, of course, which is a huge convenience advantage, and the edge of the ramp aids access.
“It is not just about the passengers – although the creation of space for the six of them had been difficult enough when we knew that we could not expand the width of the vehicle with the mirrors. We spent a lot of time to make more room and a better space for the driver. It is their office, and for long periods of time, which was just as important.”