Iconic London black cabs are going green
Since the 1940s, the design of London’s iconic black cabs has barely changed. But there’s now something different under the hood of one tenth of the city’s taxi fleet.
More than ten per cent of cab drivers have switched to battery-powered electric cars, in an effort to fight climate change and air pollution.
The battery-powered TX doesn’t look different from the diesel cabs, but it has zero carbon dioxide emissions at the tailpipe.
London EV Company (LEVC)’s TXs have been produced since January 2018. As of July 31, the company says 2,500 have rolled off the assembly line.
LEVC says the battery-powered cabs already on the streets have already prevented 6,800 tonnes of CO2 from being put into the atmosphere.
The TX cabs are almost entirely silent, and can drive for eight hours on a single charge. They also produce healthier air for the cabbies and customers to breathe.
CEO Joerg Hoffman said the company has seen an “increased momentum” in interest in electric vehicles, and “believe sales will speed up quite significantly, very soon, even.”
Peter Powell, a London cab driver who has made the switch, said that the diesel cabs “served the trade quite well but (are) very antiquated, unreliable, uncomfortable (and) extremely expensive to run.”
Still, the new cabs aren’t without their problems. Powell says there aren’t nearly enough charging stations in the city.
“It’s very, very hard,” said Powell. “When you do find a charger, you can’t get on them. There’s taxis waiting, there’s other vehicles waiting.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said on Wednesday in a Tweet that the city had installed 178 new rapid-charging points for electric vehicles so far, with more on the way.
Using financial incentives, London hopes to go from around 20,000 electric vehicles in the city to 330,000 six years from now.