The London Taxi Company (part of Geely) signed an agreement with some private and government companies (names weren’t disclosed), according to which at least 36,000 eco-friendly Hackney carriages will hit the roads of Britain.
11/23/15 4:00 am chumakdenis 1
Black cab is an iconic sight on the streets of London.
Sophisticated design (more than sixty years of style) of the vehicle reflects the spirit of past generations and attracts tourists like a magnet: everyone who visits London wants to take a ride in this beauty – by doing so you can feel yourself being a Londoner(Big Ben, House of Parliament, Westminster Abbey…oh…so boring).
Nonetheless, it turns out that everything is not as good as it looks.
Because of the fierce competition with Uber drivers black cab drivers are not cutting the edge anymore –even millions of tourists can’t help.
They can’t compete with them on equal terms (especially in price terms) and can disappear from streets of London forever.
Luckily, it won’t happen.
Second life of black cabs
The London Taxi Company (part of Geely) invested 300 million pounds (about 465 million dollars) in order to build the cab that would be capable of fending off competition from much more modern vehicles.
Chinese and British engineers worked under this car for 2 long years.
Did they manage to create something worth seeing?
Well, let’s figure it out.
TX5 black cab
The TX5 is the all-new vehicle that has been designed from scratch (2,000 new components were designed from the ground up).
It’s powered by a gasoline-electric plug-in hybrid drivetrain.
Most of the juice comes from a four-cylinder engine, but the vehicle is also capable driving solely on electricity –don’t know how many miles it can go yet.
The TX5 borrows styling cues such as a tall grille, round headlights and pronounced belt line from the Austin FX4.
The TX5 design concept captures the spirit of past generations of LTC models such as the Fairway series and draws on more than sixty years of style that has made the black xab an iconic sight on the streets of London. While maintaining recognizable key features, the new zero emission capable TX5 has been updated to reflect the needs of today’s passengers and the move towards a low-carbon economy” - says the London Taxi Company.
The cab boasts composite body panels as well as a modular aluminum platform that keeps weight in check.
As well as accommodating six passenger seats and featuring improved driver leg room, the TX5 also heralds the return of the rear-hinged door to improve passenger access and, for the first time on a Black Cab, a panoramic glass roof.
It has sufficient space for a forward facing wheelchair, helping to meet the travel needs of those with mobility issues.
The TX5 is also equipped with Wi-Fi capability and provides charging points for drivers and passengers in line with London’s reputation as a hub for tech innovation and connectivity on-the-go.
Chinese automotive manufacturer Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, a parent company to LTC, announced its intention to invest an additional £50 million (77 million dollars), to total £300 million, in its production facility in Ansty, Warwickshire, turning it into the group’s UK R&D headquarters.
Here’s what Li Shufu, founder and chairman of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, said on that:
“At 31,000 square metres, the Ansty facility will now be 50% larger than originally planned to accommodate the enhanced R&D centre and additional technical facilities alongside the production line to build the new TX5. In addition, there will 6,000 square meters of office space.”
“We will have invested many years of development and more than £300 million in bringing the TX5 to market. This is a testament to Geely’s commitment to the UK and The London Taxi Company, and demonstrates our leading position on new energy technologies, our loyal and talented workforce and our competitive edge when it comes to delivering pioneering design and technology. At the same time, we are happy to play a part in furthering Sino-Anglo relations by investing in the UK and strengthening business and governmental ties between the two nations.”
The brand-new London TX5 taxi will be available from 2017.
Manufactured it will be at a plant near Coventry.
Sales will start first in the UK and then plug-in drive hybrid taxi will be offered globally.
Alas, we don’t know if the green taxis will be sold in all countries, but do know that the Chinese company Geely Automobile has big shoes to fill.
Well, good luck with that.
The greener our society, the better it is.