London Taxi Company To Launch Electric Taxi In Late 2017

MAY 28 2016 BY MARK KANE 19

London Taxi Company

London Taxi Company

The London Taxi Company says it will launch range-extended taxis in late 2017, alongside the outfit’s plug-in van Emerald Automotive T-001.

Both projects are developed under the wings of Geely.

Introduction of the plug-in black cab itself if related to new Transport For London (TFL) legislation that says all new cabs must be “zero-emission capable” from 1 January 2018.

TFL will require new service vehicles to enable zero-emission driving in the city center.

The London Taxi Company is developing the new cab with both electric drive and petrol range-extender (or PHEV if you will) to be able to cover an expected 150-200 miles a day on single charge and a single tank of petrol.

“LTC CEO Peter Johansen gave further insight, saying only one fill-up per day would be needed for the range-extending petrol generator. “A taxi driver will do 150-200 miles in a day, so the idea is the driver will top-up once during the day and travel the whole day on electric power.”

Johansen also clarified the necessity for a range-extender rather than a traditional battery EV, citing recharging times and the lack of a fast-charge infrastructure as contributory factors for the traditional battery EV’s incompatibility with taxi use. He also revealed that since Geely – which also owns Volvo – acquired the London Taxi Company in 2013, Geely chairman Li Shufu’s aim has been to build an electrified taxi.”

source: Autocar

Categories: General

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19 Comments on "London Taxi Company To Launch Electric Taxi In Late 2017"

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Will Davis

How is a pure EV not compatible as a taxi? It just needs about 60 kWh and it’s golden

Rick Bronson

Taxis are vehicles which travels 300 – 400 km / day and having 60 KWh battery will enable the vehicle to go 300 km and lunch time recharge should add another 100 km.

Plugin is only for individuals who do short distance every day and long distance once in a while.

Taxis should go full EV, so does the London Taxi.

BTW, they should change to Orange / Yellow color since its a very visible color.

Martin Winlow

*Some* taxis might do that sort of mileage but huge numbers – just like ordinary cars – do *not*. You are talking the same blinkered nonsense that everyone else that hasn’t any idea what they are talking about spouts. If you want proof read up about C&C taxis in St Austell, Cornwall… … & …

Besides that there are many other taxi companies running full electric fleets including Teslas.

Honestly! Pull your head out of the sand and wake up!

I fully agree. EVs operates so quietly comparing to ICEs that visibility becomes very important to reduce accidents especially with pedestrians.

You may demand that they would paint cabs pink and purchase some Leafs, but it would just damage you credibility :/ This story is about London, not some small town. Taxis travel from 50 to 250 miles daily 24/7 including busy holidays, and you need to cover whole maximum distance, not some “average”. You may recharge in early morning, but you need to get to the charger. 60kWh obviously don’t cut it even if you had 60 kWh available right now and ready to be manufactured in Black Cab version – it is not the case. Tesla is notoriously unreliable and overpriced, and not likely to produce Black Cabs on order. Then try to run A/C for the whole rainy day & night to make humidity acceptable – it is something like 24* 2kWh = 20 kWh A/C alone. Add heating as your passengers are not going to use some electric blankets. It is hopeless with 60 kWh, you need some 200 kWh as minimum. Then you need expensive high power chargers over the city to charge at off-peak times, you can’t spread charging over whole 24 hours, and it is obvious that it doesn’t make any sense now. Maybe… Read more »

You don’t even know what this Black Cab will cost. “Notoriously unreliable”? Compared to what?
You’re sounding like Trump now.

Will Davis

They won’t change to orange/yellow, this is london, not new york. Our taxi cabs are traditionally black and that is what people look for when they want a taxi.

Off topic from the article, but I saw a LEAF taxi the other day (privately owned) which was super cool.

On topic: Taxis in london average ~20 mph so even with a small battery they can go REALLY far.

Stuart McCormick

Why are they lagging so far behind? Dundee already had a fleet of Nissan Leaf taxis and has done so for about two years.

Martin Winlow

Mr Kane – When are you going to realise that an EV is *not* a hybrid and stop deluding yourself and your readers by trying to make it appear otherwise? If it’s got an exhaust pipe then it is NOT and EV! Pretty simple.

Someone out there

If it is propelled by an electric motor it’s an electric vehicle, exhaust pipe or not. Pretty simple.


No Martin, _you_ are the tiresome one. I’ve corrected you on this myself, as have others.

Rightly or wrongly, the (very) long-established practice on this site is that “EV” refers to a vehicle that has an electric traction motor, which can run off a battery that can be plugged in, irrespective of what other motive factors it might have.

When necessary, there are more specific terms available such as REx EV, PHEV and BEV.
Incidentally, an electric bicycle (which by definition can be pedaled) also counts as an EV in this regard, as would a fuel-cell car if its battery can be recharged off a mains plug.

Does this terminology bother you that much? Please stop posting here.

Jay, could you swoop in with an editorial edict on this? There are far too many exhumations of this argument.

We have explained our stance before, and to the OP as well. Is the term “EV” as used here and in other stories about PHEVs (and some other tech) correct in its purest form? No, probably not.

However, until the segment matures and more than just the 1 acronym (EV) or word “electric vehicle” is understood inside the tech, it would do more harm that good to muddy the waters with other classifications and confusing terminology (that we would have to re-explain inside every article).

Someday perhaps we can split out the definition more, but today the mission is to make the stories (at least in the titles) as accessible to as many people as possible.

no comment

you forgot FCEV!

these: “what is a real ev?”; arguments remind me of the “emacs vs vi” flame wars. the arguments over which text editor was better were apparently of interest to people liked debating such things, but the arguments were pretty stupid to the rest of us.


It is London which means it will need a heater on for a decent chunk of the year. How precisely is a BEV supposed to go the entire distance plus keep the cab warm all day? Lastly, no don’t change the color. They are black because they are iconic. Leave it as is…

Sorry but for now in that specific case a PHEV makes sense.

Will Davis

Well firstly a heat pump would be a suitable heater, far more efficient than a typical resistor heater. Combined with a decent-sized battery (at least 60 kWh) you’re talking over 160 miles and that’s WITH the heater on the entire time.

So yes, a BEV can EASILY go the entire distance plus keep the cab warm all day. Realistically speaking even the original 24 kWh LEAF could do 60 city miles with the heater on. A 60 kWh battery is 2.5x larger.

That’s 150 miles under the same conditions. Plenty of range, particularly if the cab rarely leaves London where average speed is low due to traffic. A quick fast charge on lunch break and that’s most of your range back again.

Alex Dow


I wonder how much heat can be recovered from the motor and electronics of the EVs, akin to but not identical to present diesel and petrol engines?

Will Davis

Well typically heat can be used to warm the car. But that’s generally the limit of its uses. Heat is effectively wasted energy. Aside from redirecting it to the cabin, there’s not much else you can do with it aside from try to dissipate it.


The Netherlands and Norway already use Tesla for Taxi’s, so London and their cold weather should not be a problem:


Is everyone missing the fact about the lack of a sufficient charging infrastructure in London?

I don’t get why people can’t fathom that something that works in another situation can’t possibly be the best solution for another situation…