London has reiterated its effort to reduce the harmful levels of pollution in the city by deploying the first ever electric taxis in the city. However, in an effort to maintain the traditional features of the city, the environmentally-friendly taxis will be the iconic 'black cabs'.
The taxis have been manufactured by the London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC), which was formerly known as the London Taxi Company. It has manufactured the world famous black cabs that are so synonymous with the UK capital for the last 69 years.
However, it has pledged its commitment to support the city's efforts to reduce pollution and go all 'electric' by investing £325m to bring a UK-built zero emissions capable taxi to domestic and international markets.
It has been disclosed that the LEVC 'electric taxis' are currently undergoing tests on the streets of London, as part of the final phase of certification which is required before they can be legally deployed to serve the public. Following legislation that was passed months ago, as of January 2018, all newly licensed taxis must be pollution-free in order to meet London's clean air challenges.
In addition, it has also been disclosed that TX e-City taxi test vehicles has undergone a rigorous testing regime in locations ranging from Death Valley, in California and the Arctic. Those tasked with the responsibility of testing the fleet of electric vehicles are London-based cabbies. They will assist in collecting vital information in relation to emissions and savings being made from LEVC's innovative technology and the performance capabilities of its charge-point infrastructure.
CEO of LEVC, Chris Gubbey expressed his excitement that the firm was at the testing stage of its production cycle - and said the new taxis would ensure LEVC would provide the best taxis in the world.
He said, "We are incredibly excited to deliver our six test vehicles to the streets of London. Made in the UK, this is set to be the best taxi in the world for the best taxi service in the world. We will now be able to accurately quantify the significant improvements these vehicles will make to London's air quality which will benefit all Londoners regardless of whether you use taxis or not. For those that do, the experience will be transformational."
LEVC is partnering with other technology companies and working closely with its workforce of drivers in order to ensure that TX driver's become the world's most 'connected cabbies'. The new vehicles will have on-board satellite navigation applications that will convey traffic congestion information to the drivers - and will also assist them in mapping alternative routes.
Additional features include six seats, contactless card machines, onboard Wi-Fi, laptop and USB charging, a panoramic roof, and an aluminum body that is stronger and will better protect the passenger. In addition, London's passengers should expect an unrivalled ride quality experience, class leading wheelchair accessibility, air-conditioning, phone charging and a much more spacious cabin.