Geely raises cash to build plug-in London black taxis image

The Chinese automaker said it raised 400 million dollars to develop a fleet of green-electrified cabs for its owned London Taxi Company.

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, which owns the Swedish-brand Volvo, also has in its portfolio the London Taxi Company (LTC), the manufacturer of the iconic London black cabs. After issuing the first-ever Green Bond on the offshore market from a Chinese carmaker, Geely said it raised 400 million dollars to support the development of the next generation London taxi, the hybrid battery-powered TX5. This new greener black cab was first unveiled last October in London during a state visit of the Chinese President Xi Jinping to the UK. Geely also plans to invest 300 million British pounds (435 million dollars) in LTC’s new research and production facility in Ansty, in the West Midlands. The target is to launch the new TX5 PHEV at the end of 2017 in the UK, as all the taxis in London have to be emissions free by January 1, 2018, and on international markets later on.

“We are committed to producing zero-emission capable vehicles,” Peter Johansen, CEO of LTC, said in statement. “I believe the issuance of the Green Bond will further enhance our competitive edge in new energy technologies. Our next generation of zero-emission vehicles, the TX5, will be sold across the world, creating an environmentally friendly transportation system.” Geely’s new factory in Coventry, England, will soon start to work on making a prototype of the TX5, while the plant has maximum output capacity of around 36,000 electric cabs a year.