London’s Black to become slightly Greener

The iconic black cabs that ply London's fair streets are to receive a green makeover, with the launch of the latest battery-powered T...

The iconic black cabs that ply London's fair streets are to receive a green makeover, with the launch of the latest battery-powered TX5 model. The newest version of London’s Hackney Cab was given the star treatment when it was unveiled by none other than Xi Jinping, during his state visit to the capital city of the UK.

If you are wondering why the new cab was unveiled by the Chinese premier, the answer is pretty simple. The newly designed London taxi, which will be available from 2017, will be made with Chinese electric vehicle technology. The London Taxi Company or LTC, who designed the car, is in fact owned by Geely, which is hopeful that the new model will become a favourite around the world, not just within the UK. The TX5 will be manufactured at a new £300M plant outside Coventry – the UK’s first new auto plant in a decade.

Able to seat six fare-paying customers comfortably, the TX5 boasts plug-in hybrid capabilities - meaning it can run on battery power and then switch from electric to petrol power when its battery runs out. It will also come with WiFi internet access and charging points for passengers’ mobile devices.

David Ancona, Design Director of Geely Barcelona, said, “This decision was market driven. The Mercedes Vito quite successful because it had that extra seat. It allowed three couples to go out together, or people to go to airports in groups. So it was decided to go that way.” The cab will hit the roads just in time to comply with the new regulations that take effect in January 2018, requiring all new taxis and private hire vehicles in London to have a ‘zero-emissions’ capability for at least 30 miles.

The launch of the new cab came on the same day London mayor, Boris Johnson, reiterated his support for electric and hybrid vehicles as a key solution to the capital’s air pollution problem. The Mayor’s remarks came in response to fierce questions from London Assembly Members over London’s air quality. During the session, Johnson expressed particular support for electric and hybrid vehicles, which he said had the potential to become a viable option for mass-market consumers. 

“I want to particularly encourage electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids in London – they are the way forward,” he said.

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