Range-Extended London Black Cab Priced From £55,599 ($73,600 USD) Ouch!

4 months ago by Mark Kane 34

London Taxi TX

The LEVC (formerly London Taxi Company and now London EV Company) has announced the retail price of its range-extended taxi cab TX.

Wait, are you seated?  We will give you a moment to get yourself in a safe location with no sharp objects in the vicinity

The LEVC (formerly London Taxi Company and now London EV Company) has announced the retail price of its range-extended taxi cab TX from £55,599 (roughly $73,600) OTR (on the road) in UK. Holy cats is that expensive!

LEVC TX electric taxi

The company, owned by the Chinese manufacturer Geely, expects that more than 90% of drivers will decide to acquire TX through its £177 ($234) per week deal, including the battery over five years.

The company says that up to £100 can be saved every week on fuel (a savings that is apparently to be transferred directly into LEVC’s pockets), making it interesting choice over the ICE version TX4, which costs £167 per week (over four years).

“As well as offering complete range assurance and flexibility, the TX with its eCity technology will also significantly reduce costs for taxi drivers. Currently, a taxi driver using the outgoing TX4 Euro 6 model with its 2.7-litre diesel engine, and driving an average of 115 miles per day, will spend around £150 per week on fuel. A taxi driver operating the same cycle in a new TX is estimated to save £100 per week on fuel.”

The TX can drive 400 miles, including some 70 miles in all-electric mode. Transport for London (TfL) will require at least 30 miles range for new cabs from 2018 to be eligible for the road.

LEVC is already accept orders for the TX, with first deliveries expected later this year.

“From the 1st August drivers that have registered their interest in the all new TX will be invited to a product preview where they will be taken through financing options, TX specifications, option packs, and given a personalised purchase proposition to suit their work patterns and individual circumstances. Drivers that have not yet registered their interest can do so at www.theelectrictaxi.co.uk.”

The TX to available with comprehensive servicing package:

“Servicing of the TX will be easier and more reassured than ever, with LEVC’s UK launch offering of three years free servicing or 90,000 miles on the all new electric TX, as well as a full five-year unlimited mileage battery warranty and a full three year, 120,000 miles vehicle warranty. LEVC’s battery warranty is industry leading for commercial vehicles.”

LEVC’s Commercial Director, Richard Gordon, said:

“I am delighted to announce such a competitive package for the new electric TX. Market leading in every way, this is a truly outstanding new vehicle that will revolutionise the taxi trade in London from an emissions perspective, for passenger comfort, experience and enjoyment, and importantly for the drivers.”

“Taking in to consideration the fuel costs of the TX, over the course of a week, it represents a really impressive savings of £100. We look forward to welcoming customers old and new in to our showroom as of this week with our order book now open.”

Welcoming the opening of order book, Steve McNamara of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association commented:

“The taxi trade welcomes the arrival of this ultra clean 21st century vehicle that can only help us to win business back from private hire. We recognise the serious issues around air quality in London and cities around the UK, and look forward to offering emission free personal transport to Londoners and visitors alike.”

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34 responses to "Range-Extended London Black Cab Priced From £55,599 ($73,600 USD) Ouch!"

  1. Gerhard Hauer says:

    Why are we not given the price of the TX4 to decide if the electric TX is really THAT expensive?

    1. Tom says:

      42,000 pounds So about a 3 year payback window

      http://www.levc.com/new-vehicles/tx4-style-taxi/

      1. Cavaron says:

        I would just buy a used ICE one and let it convert to EV. With 150 miles of range, that would be something about 20.000$ with Chinese LiFeYPos.

        1. Alex Clabburn says:

          That is an interesting idea.

  2. Get Real says:

    Can you say DOA as a viable product to the consumer market.

    1. Nada says:

      NOT a consumer product…

      How much is taxes??
      I am guessing this will also aleviate the congestion charges to drive in London which add up too…

      The Geely/Volvo/LEVC/Lynk Co/Proton auto conglomerate will be selling consumer EV products in the EU for much much cheaper under a different brand in the very very near future…
      Can you say the 2020 timeframe and no that does not make it vaporware…

      1. Martin Winlow says:

        Taxis are exempt from CCs.

        1. Martin Winlow says:

          Which is a bit ironic as they are some of the worst offenders when it comes to air pollution.

          1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

            Especially given the financial incentive to delete the DPF.

    2. JustWillimPDX says:

      I can say, type, or even tweet it. But considering this is a commercial vehicle it simply isn’t relevant, and thus I won’t.

    3. Tom says:

      Building vehicles that are dedicated only as taxis has been around nearly as long as cars have been a thing.

  3. speculawyer says:

    Meh. That’s typical. It is not a consumer product. It is a commercial vehicle that is being designed to run for a zillion miles. It is a ruggedized low-production-volume specialty thing.

    I wonder if that is a good idea but I guess they wanted to stick to the tradition of those goofy looking black cabs. I would have gone with off-the-shelf EVs.

    1. mhpr262 says:

      This. A couple thousand or ten thousand pounds count little compared to fuel savings over the lifetime of the vehicle and loss of revenue due to possible repairs and downtime of less sturdy vehicles.

      Similar to how the price of a full-size semi truck is just a fraction of its cost of operation (fuel and maintenance) over its lifetime. That’s why Tesla has a chance with their electric semi truck.

      1. speculawyer says:

        Good point on the semi-Truck. I’m still pretty skeptical but that is a low-volume, high-price market so they can sneak in the cost of a massive battery into it. And I heard that they are going to many of their existing motors to drive the semi-truck (perhaps 1 for each wheel?).

        So if the both the motors and the batteries are already being mass manufactured, they can build the semi-truck for an affordable price.

        The trick is really in how they are going to recharge it quickly or swap out the batteries. That’s going to require a massive parallel supercharging system or battery-swapping. It will be interesting to see what they do.

        1. Tom says:

          a) Trucks don’t stop much
          b) when they do stop (unless picking up or dropping off a load), it is for several hours at a time. Whether that’s at home base or a truck stop. Truckers use those truck stops to shower, eat, and sleep. Since a truck has an extremely open chassis, I suspect you could swap a battery out well within the time tolerance of a trucker.

    2. JustWillimPDX says:

      Because England!

      Everything from Monarchy to High Tea seems goofy to me too! But lasting traditions are part of every cultural identity, and endure for sound reasons.

      The “London Cab” is Iconic because it specialized in providing the maximum interior space available within the exterior dimensions and turning radius requirements necessary. Form followed function, and it achieved a unusual but easily identifiable appearance as a result.

      Personally, I have a soft spot for any product (or person for that matter) that manages to sensibly evolve while simultaneously maintaining individualism AND tradition. It’s the kind of goofy I most admire, and most naturally promote and defend.

      1. Tom says:

        It would not surprise me if taxi service is EXTREMELY regulated in London. Even in NY, a model of vehicle must be approved by the city and meet certain specific requirements. Remember the giant yellow cabs? Weren’t the basically 1950s Chevy cars? They ran those until I swear just 20 years ago.

        Here, I would bet there probably are NO consumer cars that will meet London requirements. Or if there are, it’s an extremely short list.

        1. Alex Clabburn says:

          Correct. To be taxi driver you have to use one of the ‘goofy’ hackney carriages and only a couple of manufacturers make them.

    3. Moché says:

      Lots of taxi drivers round the world are using regular OTF commercial cars. I’ve even seen Tesla taxis here. That’s what I’d buy instead of these silly overpriced black boxes.

      1. Alex Clabburn says:

        In London there is a legal distinction between taxi cabs (the silly black boxes) and private hire vehicles (including Uber cars). Taxis are allowed to drive around and pick people up opportunistically whereas private hire vehicles need to be pre-booked. To be a taxi driver you MUST use a hackney carriage which are only made by a couple of manufacturers so this is a pretty important development for London.

  4. ap says:

    Check my math for the cost of the TX4, 167 pounds/week over 4 years:

    167X52X4=34,736 pounds

    If the 100 pounds savings per week on fuel is correct for the TX, 177 pounds per week over 5 years:

    177*52*5 – 5*52*100 = 46,020 – 26,000 = 20,020 punds

    Something is screwy. The TX comes out about 20,000 cheaper.

    1. ap says:

      Oops, more like 14,000 pounds cheaper.

  5. offib says:

    One should really mention the price of a regular cab. They’re not exactly priced against your average Kia Rio in the first place.

    A regular cab would’ve cost (after inflation taken to consideration) an equivalent of £35000 +15 years ago.

  6. Gazz says:

    The LTI is a good Taxi but it’s so much more then a Tesla M3 or Zoe 40. I think success will be short. Its a hard thing to say living a few miles for the Factory.

    1. Alex Clabburn says:

      Im more optimistic. As long as black cabs survice (which isnt a given in the age of Uber) they pretty much have a captive market in London and the rest of the UK uses Hackney carriages as well. We are going to see a lot of new air quality rules coming in all over the country so I think there will be demand.

      I’m less sure about whether they have much export potential but cars that can seat 7 passengers don’t tend to be cheap so it could be competitive as more cities start to regulate their taxi fleets. In some ways the only EV that can match these specs (in terms of size/number of passengers) is the Model X and it is obviously a lot cheap than that.

  7. AlphaEdge says:

    Couple thoughts. If gas is £150 a week for ICE version and Hybrid saves £100, then fuel is £50/week for Hybrid version.

    I guess that’s based on 115 mile a day average with 70 miles electric, if recharging once at night.

    It’s only £10 more per week, and it’s mandated.

    Seems more than reasonable.

    The drivers will love the instant accerlation.

  8. ClarksonCote says:

    Seems like the Opel Ampera would make a great taxi… And for this price you could buy two.

    1. Alex Clabburn says:

      You could but you wouldn’t be able to get it licensed as a taxi cab in London. They have to be Hackney carriages which is a highly regulated thing. You also wouldnt have room for 7 passengers or a forward facing wheelchair. They will no doubt find their way into the fleet of private hire vehicles but that’s a different thing in London with separate rules.

  9. Tom says:

    I think it looks pretty cool. It would be a cool car to own…if you happen to have enough money to afford the big sticker price

  10. Martin Winlow says:

    Frankly I am gob-smaked at how cheap it is and if it performs to specs I’d say LEVC/Geely have a hit.

  11. Alex Clabburn says:

    London has one of the most regulated transport sectors going (thankfully) and there are extremely specific rules regarding taxicabs (as opposed to private hire vehicles) which includes a requirement that the cars themselves are hackney carriages. You can argue over whether this is a good thing or not but it’s part of London’s heritage going back hundreds of years. You cant just get a taxi license and buy a Tesla 3 or a Zoe. If you want to do that you need to set up as a private hire vehicle (which many, many do) but wont be able to drive around the streets picking up passengers opportunistically or waiting at the busy taxi ranks outside stations.

    What this boils down to is the fact that taxi drivers have only two manufacturers to choose from (the guys who have made this as well as metrocab) so there are only weak market forces as play with drivers simply having to suck it up and pay whatever the cost is. The trade off has always been worth it as taxi drivers have traditionally been able to make a very good living but with competition from private hire vehicles (including Uber) this is under threat.

    For me this represents a reasonable first gen EV and they are planning for the long-term and selling outside of London and for export. It is an expensive vehicle but I was relieved to see range as high as 70 miles when the minimum requirement was 30 miles of range. This tells more it is a serious development and more than just compliance for the new rules coming in next year. They do however need to increase range quickly. A lot of drivers live outside London so could quickly drain the battery on their initial journey in then spend most of the day driving round on the small petrol engine. Equally a single round trip to Heathrow airport would use up most of the electric range and at the moment rapid charging during the day is not viable (although there are plans for improving this).

  12. Alex Clabburn says:

    This is a poor article. Leading with a dismissive headline without then placing things in any sort of context is terrible reporting. If you think this vehicle is overpriced then why not back it up with some comparison to the ICE equivalent as other posters have suggested. I would also be interested in whether there are any cheaper EVs with this sort of range capable of carrying 7 passengers and that’s before considering that all London cabs have to be hackney carriages making this a pretty specialised market.

  13. Marc says:

    There will be an EV vehicle subsidy of around £3000 and probably a scrappage grant for 15 year old diesels that are shrinking up London. Probably enough to give it parity with th TX 4. A few moments research would have confirmed this

    1. Alex Clabburn says:

      Spot on. The TX4 costs £45,395 OTR. £3000 plug in grant plus scrappage of up to £5000 and you are at almost at parity. That’s before you start factoring in running costs and fuel savings.

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