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New hybrid Hackney cab to lead fight back against Uber


TX5 Taxi

Black cab drivers in London will soon have a new weapon in the fight against Uber; an electric hybrid vehicle that’ll also replace the traditional diesel with an efficient petrol engine.

The new battery-powered TX5, which is expected to arrive in the capital by the end of 2017, will help taxis to meet the government’s requirement for zero fuel emissions by 2018.

The vehicle will feature a range extended battery that’s likely to get drivers through the day, although there are no specifics yet on how far it’ll travel on a single charge.

The prototype, unveiled this week by the London Taxi Company, retains much of the iconic design language, while also featuring a new lightweight aluminium body structure.

Also, for the first time, there’ll be a panoramic glass roof, perfect for sightseeing around London. There’ll also be Wi-Fi access and charging points for both drivers and passengers.

It’ll also be more spacious and have room for a forward-facing wheelchair, while drivers will also continue to benefit from that innate ability to turn on a sixpence.

See also: Uber ruled legal in London

TX5 Taxi

The cars have been manufactured by Chinese car-maker Geely, the LTC’s parent company, and were revealed as part of a state visit from president Xi Jinping, also attended by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Geely also announced it will invest a further £50m in its new Warwickshire production facility, bringing the total investment to £300m. It’s the first new car factory to be built in the UK in over a decade.

Alex Mason

October 23, 2015, 12:45 pm

Over at Ars, they describe a small petrol engine and a small battery. Given the size of the vehicle I think they've missed a trick here and could have gone full EV with enough battery to last the day or at the very least only require 1 30 minute super-charge a la Tesla. Carrying around 2 engines doesn't show much commitment to the ZE cause.

Remember the Chevy Volt? Bit of a flop here because of the price. Having two engines made it more expensive than it should have been and whilst it was a better hybrid than a prius, it didn't perform as well as a pure EV in EV mode. All that extra weight hurt its range and when running on the petrol engine the economy was decidedly average.

In london they definitely have the right scope for making cabs full EV. Perhaps this will come with the TX6


October 23, 2015, 1:21 pm

This is good and all, but it doesn't in any way address the main competition vector from Uber: Uber is usually cheaper. Until TFL announces a fare rate drop and massively publicise it they're not going to gain any ground back from Uber.


October 25, 2015, 3:43 am

think those emission laws, excessive costs for uber drivers in cars that cant meet those conditions and how that may effect their service charges

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