Last week saw the first electric-powered black cabs hit the streets of London to go on a preliminary trial period in the city. Having been in development for the best part of the last ten years, the seven-seater taxis have a zero-emissions mode and run on two almost-silent electric motors.
The ‘Range-Extended Electric Metrocab’ has been entirely designed and built in the UK, and comes fitted with colour television displays, a USB charging socket and a panoramic glass roof for London passengers to enjoy during their journey. Drivers will also benefit from modern travel commodities, with a multifunction touch-screen display, hands free phone and air conditioning all fitted as standard.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson took one of the Metrocabs for an early test-drive back in April 2014, describing it as the ‘Rolls Royce of taxis’ and ‘a masterpiece of British engineering.’ With rising pollution levels across major cities, more and more governments are looking to bring in modes of transport with better energy efficiency. The new Metrocab houses a generator used to recharge the cab’s battery or provide power directly to the motors, and as a result, the electric taxi is over three times more fuel efficient than the current London taxi.
How much the Metrocab will cost is yet to be disclosed, but having successfully covered over 600,000 engineering test miles, the new electric taxis may well have a growing presence on London’s streets before too long.