The Chinese company that makes the iconic London black cabs plans to expand to other major European cities as well.
China’s Geely, which owns the Swedish-brand Volvo and the London Taxi Company, the manufacturer of the iconic London black cabs, recently said it raised 400 million dollars to support the development of the next generation of green taxis, the hybrid battery-powered TX5. It also plans to build a new factory near Coventry, England. The company now tries to persuade other European taxi firms in cities such as Paris, Barcelona, Oslo, Amsterdam and Berlin to go “green” and it has started to push for an expansion in the French capital, where it displayed last week the TX5 plug-in hybrid prototype.
“Most of the major cities in Europe have an air-pollution problem,” said Peter Johansen, head of the taxi manufacturer. “The limited range of existing models is what has stopped until now the adoption of electric vehicles as the mainstay of taxis.” The French newspaper Le Monde reported that Paris is trying to fight with traffic and pollution by banning all cars registered before 1997 from the city’s streets from Monday to Friday starting from July 1.
Furthermore, London Taxi also wants to sell its PHEVs to ride-sharing services such as Uber and its competitors. “We are offering a global product that will be a global beater,” said Johansen. The target is to launch the new TX5 model 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.
Via Automotive News