Chinese-Made London Cab of the Future Is a Plug-in Hybrid That Will Hit the Road in 2017

Geely's TX5 black cab 1 photo
Photo: The Evening Standard
Rarely do you get to talk about a company that has been manufacturing the same type of product for more than 100 years. The London Taxi Company has been around since 1899, and even though it was purchased by Chinese automaker Geely, it seems there’s no stopping these people. They are keeping up with the times, though, since the next generation London cabby is going to be a hybrid.
It’s only when the battery’s energy drains that the petrol engine kicks in, and that is an important aspect of the next generation taxis to drive the streets of UK’s capital city. You must have heard about Europe’s plans to lower carbon emissions and London Mayor’s policies to clean up transportation in the city.

The deal comes just in time, considering that one year before the cars hit the road new rules enter into force, and all taxi or private hire vehicles will have to be “zero-emission” capable. Dubbed the TX5, the new model was officially unveiled yesterday at Lancaster House in St James’ at an event that was attended by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as well as Chinese President Xi Jinping.

According to the Evening Standard, Geely will build the black cab at a new £300 million ($463.33 million) plant outside Coventry, creating 1,000 jobs. Further details have yet to be unveiled, but so far it is known that the new model is bigger, offering six instead of five seats for passengers, front-opening “suicide doors” and more legroom for the driver. It also comes with a panoramic glass roof, built-in WiFi and charging points for electrical devices.

Peter Johansen, chief executive of The London Taxi Company, said, “We are hugely excited to be unveiling the TX5 prototype design for the first time and in such high company. The new vehicle has a wealth of new features, which will all be tried and tested and then tested again to provide a perfect balance of timeless design driven by ground-breaking technology.”
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