As part of a series of new announcements the next generation London Taxi has been unveiled, with the zero-emission capable LEVC TX E-CITY heralding new technology, model, and company names.
The newly launched LEVC is the company formerly known as the London Taxi Company, with the new name aiming to reflect the brand’s heritage – L is for London naturally – while still reflecting the push for a global market, and one that isn’t based purely in taxi sales.
The TX badge continues the model names of the previous generation taxis, but breaks with the numbering system ending in TX4 to show that the new model is a big leap forward. Finally, the range extended electric vehicle technology has been termed E-CITY, and fits all the requirements set to be introduced by Transport for London at the turn of next year.
The new TX E-CITY – tagged TX5 until today’s unveiling – has been revealed in disguised form testing at worldwide locations with extreme weather conditions for the past few months, and also spotted in the rather less harsh climes of Goodwood at the recent Festival of Speed.
However, the new TX E-CITY is now officially launched, with order books opening 1st August. London trials begin in October, with the drivers and passengers able to give feedback to LEVC. Prices are yet to be revealed, and unlikely to be unless you have serious interest in buying one.
Those drivers that have shown interest in the new TX E-CITY will be invited to the company’s Warwickshire factory to look around the car then sit down and discuss a monthly cost – a figure that is far more useful to taxi drivers than the traditional OTR cost.
LEVC is promising that the sums will be very competitive, and states that the new TX E-CITY will save drivers £100 a week in fuel bills. Battery leasing doesn’t come into the equation either, and there are already plans to roll out a taxi-focuses EV charge point network across London.
The final official figures will be revealed later this year, but the TX E-CITY will cover more than 400 miles between stops where necessary, and has an all-electric range of 70+ miles. The precise technical specifications are still under wraps too, but the LEVC is a range extended EV, and will meet forthcoming regulations due from 1st January 2018.
These include new rules that all newly registered taxis and private hire vehicles in London from that date must have emissions figures of 50 g/km or less, and have a minimum zero-emission range of 30 miles.
The TX E-CITY itself is able to seat six easily, and is extremely spacious. Where a front passenger seat would normally be, there is additional luggage storage, and drivers have a cabin that is angled towards them. This includes a large touchscreen which, along with the digital instrument display, steering wheel, and various switchgear, has been brought in from the Volvo parts bin.
The rear features Isofix mounts for child seats, a large sunroof and side windows that contribute to a light cabin, rear hinged doors that open to 90 degrees, and three-facing-three seating with plenty of head and leg space available.