London's New Taxi TX5 Goes Electric
23 October 2015 - Autoblog
There's a new black cab in London, and unlike the previous models manufactured by the London Taxi Company over the years, this version of the popular taxi won't run on diesel fuel.
Geely, the owner of the London Taxi Company, hasn't provided any details about the new four-cylinder powertrain, aside from that it will be capable of running on emissions-free electric power for an extended period, Autocar reports. That allows the new black cab to fit in with London's zero-emissions requirement for taxis, set to kick in in 2018.
Beyond that, London's black cabs have a very, very well-known set of performance requirements, all of which the new TX5 complies with. Even with the new hybrid system, AC reports it possesses the same ultra-tight turning circle that has typified Hackney carriages for years.
While a new, greener taxi is good news for London, the TX5 should also help the UK on a broader level. Its introduction comes with the promise of a 250-million-pound investment ($386.1 million, at today's rates) in Coventry-based LTC. $77.2 million of that investment will go towards a new factory capable of building 36,000 taxis per year, Autocar reports. That figure far exceeds London's demand for new cabs, meaning Geely will likely be looking to offer the TX5 around the UK and potentially in foreign markets.