Range-Extended Metrocab Gets Approved For Taxi Use In UK

FEB 25 2015 BY MARK KANE 9

Metrocab

Metrocab

Frazer-Nash Research and Ecotive, the companies behind the Metrocab next generation taxi, announced that Metrocab has become the first zero-emission-capable taxi to be licensed by Transport for London to operate on a trial basis as a London Hackney Carriage.

The first few Metrocabs are now on the streets of London busy at work.

Metrocab chairman, Sir Charles Masefield, said:

“The Metrocab has received numerous accolades and plaudits across the board in recent months, but now it is official – it is the first licensed range extended electric cab for London, and indeed the first in the world.  We’re very proud, and delighted with the Metrocabs’ performance, economy and range at the hands of the first few London cabbies to be operating our range extended electric taxis.”

The first London taxi driver to operate the Range Extended Electric (REE) Metrocab, Preston Morris, stated:

“It is great news for me, and for cabbies across London that the Metrocab is now licensed to work in the capital.  The cash savings on fuel are significant, the ride and comfort outstanding, and my first customers are thrilled with the new cab.  With its air suspension providing unrivalled comfort, panoramic glass roof for views of the city and silent powertrain, what’s not to like?”

The Metrocab recently won the London Transport Award, in the Taxi & Private Hire Innovator of the Year category.

Key note speaker at the awards presentation, to be held in London in March, Sir Peter Hendy CBE, commented:

“I am delighted, as always, to support these awards, which recognise all that our industry does every day to deliver transport innovation and progress for London and the UK, and congratulate those organisations and individuals nominated for their achievements over the last year.”

On the technical side, the Metrocab is range extended electric-powered taxi with 1 liter gas range-extender engine coupled to a generator unit and two electric motors on the rear (2x 50 kW).

With a 12.2 kWh battery pack, Metrocab’s all-electric range of 40-50 km appears doable, while total range stands at 560 km (350 miles).

About the all-new Metrocab:

The purpose-built all-new Range Extended Electric (REE) Metrocab taxi represents the cutting edge of green transportation technology. The vehicle incorporates the latest technology for comfort, performance and safety, providing unrivalled efficiency and economy with significantly reduced daily operation and maintenance costs together with customer benefits including full disabled accessibility, panoramic roof for views of the city, increased luggage space and unrivalled comfort for up to seven passengers.

The taxi is driven by two electric motors, range extended with a 1-litre petrol engine coupled with a generator to recharge the battery pack (which takes as little as 10 minutes while driving).  Charging is also available via any mains electric outlet providing even lower fuel consumption.

Developed by Surrey-based Frazer-Nash Research and Ecotive, this unique powertrain system offers ultra-low emissions and a zero emissions mode, improved air quality, reduced noise pollution, and economic benefits including tax incentives and grants.  www.newmetrocab.com

Metrocab key features:

  • 98 MPG on the ECE101 Cycle and over three times more fuel efficient than comparable current London taxi
  • 75% less CO2  than comparable current London taxi
  • New Metrocab <50g/km CO2
  • >560km combined range
  • Significantly lower running costs, typically saving a London cabbie £20 – 40 per day
  • Zero-emissions mode and home charging via standard mains outlet
  • Evolutionary design, sympathetic to iconic London taxi silhouette
  • >10 years in development and over a million engineering test kilometres
  • Six passenger seats (plus optional seventh passenger seat in the front)
  • Fully compliant with  London Taxi Private Hire (LTPH)regulations

Metrocab Technical Specification:

GENERAL

  • Range extended electric vehicle
  • Fully compliant with  London Taxi Private Hire (LTPH)regulations
  • Capable of zero emission operation
  • Vehicle health diagnostics and status telemetry system

VEHICLE DIMENSIONS

  • Overall length:………………………….. 4,905mm
  • Overall width:…………………………… 1,800mm
  • Overall height:………………………….. 1,925mm
  • Wheel base:……………………………….3,181mm

VEHICLE WEIGHT

  • Gross:………………………………………… 2,515kg
Metrocab

Metrocab

PERFORMANCE

  • Top speed:…………………………………. 80mph (Restricted)
  • Max gradient:…………………………….. 1:3
  • Emissions:………………………………….. <50g/km CO2
  • Turning circle: …………………………… 7.62m (Meets LTPH requirement)
  • Regenerative braking

DRIVELINE

  • Peak motor power:…………………… 2 x 50kW
  • Peak wheel torque:…………………… 2 x 1,400Nm

RANGE EXTENDER

  • 1 litre petrol range-extender engine coupled to generator unit
  • Fuel efficient urban and highway generating modes
  • Meets Euro 5 emission standards

BATTERY SYSTEM

  • Lithium-ion polymer large format cells
  • Stored capacity:…………………………. 12.2kWh
  • 3kW on board charging

COMFORT

  • Driver multi-function touch screen display and instrument cluster with colour display
  • Passenger colour display
  • USB charging socket
  • Digital infotainment system
  • Hands free telephone
  • Air conditioning and heating
  • Anti-lock braking system (ABS)
  • 3-seater rear bench seat – fore/aft adjustable for more luggage space when required
  • 3 rear facing flip down seats
  • 1 optional front passenger seat
  • Full wheelchair access with integrated wheelchair ramp
  • Panoramic glass roof
  • Mood Lighting
  • Air suspension

* Correct at time of going to print, subject to change

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9 Comments on "Range-Extended Metrocab Gets Approved For Taxi Use In UK"

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Nice to hear about these again. It’s literally been a year since we last heard about the Metrocab, probably from the fullychargedshow.

The weight is surprising. Yeah, 2500kg, but I was expecting 3 tonnes! Considering that the normal cabs weighed over 2000kg with their 1.5l diesel engines from the 1980s.

Great! The Britons will be enjoying these luxurious metrocabs, while the Dutchmen at Amsterdam airport will be squeezing themselves in the Tesla cabs? Great indeed.

I’d rather ride in a Tesla.

2515 kg is its gross vehicle weight. Its 1750 kg kerb weight isn’t too bad for a car its size. But its (high) price has apparently not been made public which might be a problem.

Metrocab did respond (in Robert Llewellyn’s review) that it will hold no premium over the current TX4s, but yeah, not very much to go on.

(cough) New York City TLC could use (cough) these cabs to clear our air (cough) as a city solution to the harmful pollution. And put money back in the drivers pockets.

No slouch off the line at over 2,000 ft*lbs on the pavement.

Only a 12.2 kWh pack and 3 kW OBC? Hope all their cab stands have EVSEs.