London Taxi Company opens new £300m UK factory


The London Taxi Company (LTC) has officially inaugurated its new UK factory in Coventry, which is to be dedicated to the production of electric taxis.

The newly unveiled vehicle plant is the UK’s first car plant dedicated solely to the production of range-extender electric vehicles, with the capacity to produce more than 20,000 cars per year. The factory will also become a globally-connected research and development centre in electric vehicle powertrains and lightweight aluminium body structures.

LTC, via its parent company Geely, has invested more than £300 million in the new site and the next-generation London taxi which will be built there. The company claims that it has created more than 1,000 new jobs since its rebirth, including 200 engineers and 300 apprentices. Geely’s investment has also been supported by government money, through the Regional Growth Fund.

The new facility is currently preparing to commence production of the next-generation London taxi, which will go on sale in the UK in the last quarter of 2017 – just in time for new taxi legislation to come into effect. The company is also chasing export markets and will commence international sales in 2018.

London Taxi Company's new factory in CoventryThe new London taxi has been developed in collaboration with Volvo Cars, also owned by Geely. The vehicle uses existing Volvo electric powertrain technology installed on a bespoke lightweight platform. The architecture has been designed to allow for “further derivatives of this new EV”, which suggests an electric delivery van or cab-chassis may be on the way.

Despite a powertrain which is far more advanced than the traditional smoky old London cab, the new taxi will remain instantly familiar. Styling is very much an evolution on previous London taxis, and will retain the features demanded for work in London such as wheelchair access and very tight turning circle.

From 1 January 2018, all new taxis will need to be Zero Emission Capable (emit no more than 50g/km CO2 with a minimum 30 mile zero emission range) to help improve air quality levels in London. In order to smooth over this transition to greener cabs, TfL and the UK government are expected to provide grants of up to £7,500, through the Office for Low Emission Vehicles, towards the purchase of a purpose-built ultra-low emission taxi. The Mayor of London and TfL have also committed to building a dedicated charging network for electric commercial vehicles.

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.”

In addition to the green credentials of the factory’s products, the plant itself has been built to meet high environmental standards. The building is clad in 850m2 of photo-voltaic solar panels to power the factory, and houses 20 charging points for electric vehicles.

London Taxi TX5 electric

Stuart Masson
Stuart Massonhttps://www.thecarexpert.co.uk
Stuart founded sister site The Car Expert in 2011. Originally from Australia, Stuart has had a passion for the car industry for over thirty years. He now provides overall direction for our four automotive titles.

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