Production of electric black cabs is being ramped up as London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) has received 600 pre-orders.
The TX eCity has a range of 80 miles on electricity alone and the battery can be topped up with the 1.5-litre petrol powered generator, giving a maximum range of around 400 miles.
LEVC CEO Chris Gubbey told ELN the £1,550 tax exemption for electric cabs from April 2018 on top of the £7,500 government grant makes a “strong business case” to switch to greener vehicles and tackle air pollution.
Taxi driver Patrick Follen, who has been driving the electric car for a few months, is already seeing savings and believes the diesel car has “had its day”.
He told ELN: “I live out in Kent and when I use the electric cab, I save about £60 a week on fuel. The running cost of this vehicle is a lot lower, it’s got a high price tag but it’s a state-of-the-art vehicle but taxi drivers don’t buy a taxi over one year, you buy them over three or six years… It’s cheaper to run in the long term.
“The air pollution in central London is getting so bad now, something has to be done – and this is a start.”
Drivers believe dedicated charging points for taxis will help with the move towards greener vehicles.
He told ELN: “There’s a big task ahead because we think this technology is really going to take off. More people are going to see the advantages of driving an electric car and so government and local authorities and others need to work together to ensure that we have the infrastructure. But we’re really on the case.”