The next generation of the famous London Taxi has been officially certified to carry fare-paying passengers by Transport for London, so is now able to enter service on the streets of the nation’s capital.
The London Electric Vehicle Company (nee London Taxi Company) claims that the new TX electric taxi will provide a range of up to 400 miles from its range extender hybrid powertrain, including up to 80 miles in zero-emissions mode. The electric motor is powered by a large battery and then a petrol generator, much like the short-lived Vauxhall Ampera and Chevrolet Volt hybrid cars from a few years ago.
From January 2018, all new taxis in London must be zero-emissions capable in an attempt to help lower the city’s pollution levels.
Late-night London revellers will now be able to vomit all over a more spacious cabin than before, and spill their drinks onto on-board power sockets and USB ports. Harking back to older-model London cabs, the new TX also has paparazzi-friendly rear-hinged “suicide” rear doors instead of the previous model’s conventional doors. Sending inappropriate late-night messages to your ex will also be made easier, thanks to on-board wifi.
As well as its 21st-century powertrain, the new TX has taken a leap forward in other areas. The bodyshell is now aluminium rather than steel, for extra rigidity and reduced weight (although repairs may be more expensive as a result). And using technology shared by sister brand Volvo, the new cab benefits from autonomous emergency braking to reduce the risk of low-speed collisions.
First deliveries of the new taxi will happen later this month, so you should be able to see them on the streets of London over the Christmas shopping period.