The London Taxi Company (LTC) today announced the official opening of the UK’s first car plant dedicated solely to the production of range-extended electric vehicles. This new, state-of-the-art, vehicle plant in Ansty, Coventry, is where the world’s first purpose-built, mass-market electric taxi will be built.
LTC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Geely, has invested more than £300m in the new site and the next-generation London taxi, which will be produced at the plant and exported around the world. The investment and expansion of LTC has created more than 1,000 new jobs, including 200 engineers and 30 apprenticeships.
The site has the capacity to build more than 20,000 vehicles per year – vehicles designed for, and dedicated to one task: to be the best ultra-low emission commercial vehicles in the world. The taxi vehicle is using proven Volvo Car electric powertrain system technologies and components comprising a new EV light weight platform, while retaining the iconic design heritage recognised around the world. Further derivatives of this new EV architecture will follow.
All vehicles produced at this plant will go through the most stringent testing regime in the company’s history. Each test vehicle will cover almost 500,000 kilometers, often in extreme conditions, to ensure that no city is off-limits. This program will enable LTC to deliver world-leading urban commercial vehicles, which meet the highest levels of quality, reliability and usability, purposefully designed for demanding daily drive cycles.
The all-new electric taxi goes on sale first in London in quarter four 2017, and then globally in early 2018. The new vehicle will be highly competitive with substantially lower fuel costs than its previous taxis.
The technology behind the new factory and vehicle is cutting edge. It has been developed with other members of the Geely group, including Volvo Cars, whilst drawing on LTC’s heritage and expertise in the development of purpose-built taxis.
This partnership has ensured that the vehicle retains its key features such as being wheelchair accessible, having a high level of manoeuvrability whilst incorporating new features like a spacious cabin area with six passenger seats and a highly sophisticated electric drivetrain.
Chris Gubbey, Chief Executive of the London Taxi Company, said: “Today marks the rebirth of the London Taxi Company. A company with a singular vision; to design and build dedicated urban commercial vehicles that can operate without emissions in cities around the world and bring down running costs for drivers.”