First ride: LEVC TX taxi prototype on the streets of London

To speak most of the taxis of London the intercom microphone, to the driver located in the roof of the car. But in the new London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) TX taxi, the microphones are sitting in the window pillars in front of the rear.

A trivial change? Not at all, because if most of the passengers talk to the driver, you lean forward, lining up almost perfectly, pillar jib-and-microphone.

German version of LEVC TX shown at Frankfurt

Sure, there are bigger things, such as the TX-taxi, such as the powertrain, a 145bhp electric motor in addition to a range of petrol-engine. By default, the 1.3-Liter engine (which is not not charge the battery, to encourage so it’s, inefficient way of driving) only starts, if the 70 miles or so is consumed by electric current. But it can also be provided manually, so that a taxi driver living in the suburbs driving under petrol power before switching to electric when you reach zero-emission zones. (From the beginning of 2018 all new London taxis will need to be running to be able to zero-emission.) Overall, TX is around 400 miles range, about 80 more than the current diesel TX4.

You could also admire the TX – bonded-aluminum architecture, which helps offset the weight of the drive train. Then there is this famous tight turning circle (8.535 m, since you asked), which requires, front wheels that turn up to 68deg. To turning compared to the wheels on a typical SUV 38deg.

So there are a lot of great things about the TX. But from where I sit, it’s the little details stand out, the. As the microphone. Or the four USB ports, 230V power point and on-board Wi-Fi. This is where I sit, the back is a prototype, TX cabin, the negotiations on the narrow streets of Highgate in North London.

Not sitting next to me – but not too close, because the back of the TX is really very spacious – is Ian Collins, the project, the technical chief. He talks me through the design features, the, LEVC hopes, make the TX a success, both in London and around the world. Rotterdam has already been purchased, 225, a German version was for the first time at the Frankfurt show and a work prepared to build in China variants.

I can hear Collins explain all this to me, because the TX is so quiet, how do you expect an electric to be a Taxi, with the passenger compartment acoustics, refined and for what intelligibility means ‘the’. Basically, it is designed to hold a conversation. In fact, the only engine noise I can hear is the rumble of the diesel in an older TX4 Taxi for us.

For comparison, I’d taxi went to LEVC base in a TX4, cared for by rush-hour chaos in London the familiar, but in practice, only the passenger compartment. But the jump in the TX and the difference is immediately. It is relatively simple but the interior is to be preserved, to cope with a fair amount of abuse over a long life – but it feels far more spacious, especially with its huge glass roof. There is Seating for six, compared with five in the TX4. The three rear-facing fold-down offset of the seats, ensuring the passengers do not RUB shoulders. Even with six normal-sized people inside there is enough space to avoid the knees to knock with the person.

The additional space is especially important for disabled passengers, folding the access ramp, from the doorstep in seconds. (The TX4 s-ramp must be stowed in the mounting with parts in the trunk.) For the first time, the TX has space for a wheelchair to face forward.

Accounting for this mechanism was “a huge challenge,” said Collins. It was an “inviolable space”, to which the drive train had to be Packed.

The packaging was an important issue in the design of the TX. Transport for London rules define a maximum length of 5.0 m (fits taxi ranks) and the taxi driver didn’t want the TX are all wider than its predecessor. Then LEVC fit, electric motor, battery, range extender and generator, without crushing of the passenger cell. Make everything a true performance fit.

Which, as I stretch out my legs and relax in the TX spacious interior, I am very grateful. It turns out that it’s not just the little things that I appreciate about the TX, then.

Behind the wheel: driver Updates

Passengers hop in taxis for mostly short trips. But for taxi driver, a taxi is your business and office. And it is an office which will cost £55,599 – or about £177 per week-on a financing, the route chosen by most of the taxi drivers.

Them economically as a business, London taxis are built to last. They have a life cycle of 15-20 years. The battery, which is attributed to LEVC closes, retains 75% charge capacity after 15 years on the basis of a worst-case scenario of 9000 cycles.

They are durable, too. Cold-bonded outer panels can be easily replaced. (Taxis are not allowed on London’s streets, if you are the sports damage.) And while the interior is comfortable, it dispenses with luxuries such as a leather steering wheel.the wear and tear over a long period of time

But the drivers get a lot of nice features: USB ports, dual-zone automatic climate control and a lockable under-seat storage. It is enormous tech upgraded also, much of it comes from LEVC, the sister company of Volvo, including safety kit, such as Autonomous emergency braking (AEB), a digital instrument display and a touch screen.

There are sat-nav, also, what you might not expect, given the fact that the pride of London-taxi-driver are requires The Knowledge of the ultra-tough test, they have to build an intimate knowledge of London’s streets. But it is a useful system to stimulate sales outside of the capital, and it helps a London driver, to a lot of use, sat-nav, the traffic check.

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