UK’s first dedicated range-extended electric car factory has become officially functional in Coventry – with the £300 million assembly facility getting ready to produce a new line of greener cabs for the London Taxi Company (LTC).
The facility is also going to export the new PHEV (plug in hybrid electric vehicle) taxis worldwide, and LTC is going to take full advantage of its parent Geely’s possibilities as it will feature technology borrowed from Volvo. The factory is interesting because it will churn out the world’s first purpose-built mass-market electric taxi, with more than 20,000 units per year of production. London will naturally be the first venue to get the cabs, this winter, and the rest of the world will follow in 2018. The company says the new cab is “highly competitive” and will have “substantially lower” running costs than previous generation taxis.
The electrified tech comes from Volvo – and it’s quite similar to the one seen in the T8 Twin Engine option – and it was built around a flexible, lightweight EV architecture. The opening of our new plant sets a number of records; it’s the first brand new automotive manufacturing facility in Britain for over a decade; the first dedicated electric vehicle factory in the UK; and the first major Chinese investment in UK automotive. We have firmly put our stake in the ground as a new, global, automotive leader in urban commercial vehicles,” commented Carl-Peter Forster, chairman of the London Taxi Company.