London's First Electric Black Cab
In a bid to reduce emissions, electric black cabs are being trialled on the city’s streets
London’s first electric black cab is being trialled on the city’s roads. This comes a year after Boris Johnson announced plans that would mean all London black cabs should have the capability of running in zero-emission mode from 2018 in a bid to reduce pollution in the city. The concept being that taxis would automatically go into zero-emission mode in areas where pollution levels are highest.
Taxi drivers have been invited to test drive the new minicab simply by registering online, then a select few will be chosen to test the vehicle. Even Boris Johnson has taken the minicab for a test drive in April 2014, praising it as being “superb, an absolutely beautiful machine and a masterpiece of British engineering”. It also boasts a powerful yet quiet electric motor, a multi-function touchscreen display, air conditioning, air suspension and seating for six passengers.
The zero-emission electric Metrocab has been in development for over 10 years and has already covered over 600,000 test miles. The cost of the vehicle has not yet been confirmed, but it is not expected to be more expensive than the current black cab, which currently commands a price of around £33,000.
If black cab drivers do decide to eventually invest in an electric black cab, they could make significant savings on fuel as well. If a typical London driver does around 200 miles per day, it roughly amounts to spending around £50 in fuel. In the new Metrocab, drivers would be able to achieve around 200 miles for about £10 worth of fuel – a saving of £40 per day. If a driver is working five days a week, this is a total saving of £200 a week. Also, if the car is running on a fully charged battery, it can be driven for around 50 miles before the petrol engine needs to be utilised.
Tradex is a leading taxi insurance provider, with over 60 years’ experience in trading under the Westminster brand.
Photo by Tamas