The London Taxi Company (LTC) has taken to the Arctic Circle to test a new all-electric version of its iconic black cab.
With inner-city air pollution a hot topic at the moment, the LTC’s response will be the introduction of the all-electric hackney carriage by the end of this year, and to prepare the new model for the gruelling demands of taxi usage they are putting it through its paces in the -15°C conditions of northern Norway.
The punishing programme is designed to test the battery’s performance, as well as the quality of both driver and passenger experience in extreme conditions. LTC are planning to increase the severity of its testing in the coming weeks, with plans to cocoon the new model in giant freezers overnight, down to temperatures as low as -49°C to ensure the cab vehicle will always start, even after the coldest nights. Once the cold weather testing has been completed satisfactorily, similar endurance testing will then take place in hot environments.
The black cab is a British icon, as are London cabbies, so Steve McNamara, General Secretary at the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, was on hand during the testing. He said, “It was truly amazing to witness the new London black cab being tested in such an extreme climate and performing so well. This new clean modern 21st century vehicle will ensure that the world’s best cab drivers now have the best tool for the job”.
As LTC embarks on its electric future, the company will be opening a brand new factory at Ansty near Coventry later this month after a £300 million-pound investment from parent company Geely.
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