The traditional black cab takes a mighty leap into the 21st Century with the LEVC taxi. It seems like an odd thing to do, using a limited range car as a working vehicle but the LEVC TX has a trick up it’s sleeve. Under the bonnet there’s a 1.5L petrol engine but it is not there to drive the car; the purpose is solely to top up the car’s 23kW battery pack. So not a hybrid at all but a ‘range extender’ that should be good for over 350 miles. Only eighty miles are accomplished on a charge, hence the recharging on the go. Should the need arise during working hours the operator can still plug the cab in and charge it in around half an hour. For convenience, the vehicle features both a CCS and CHAdeMO charging socket either side of its grille with charging cables supplied.
LEVC TX Taxi Charging Cable FAQ
Is this a true EV?
Almost. The petrol engine is used as generator only but the car does emit 29g/km of CO² so perhaps not in the purest form. Nevertheless it will be welcome in our towns because the emissions are negligible compared to regular cabs and the taxi is more than twice as economical as the old models and uses charging cables in the same way as a regular EV or hybrid.
Could it used a family car?
Don’t see why not, but there’s a catch. Certainly it drives well with a small turning circle and would prove economical in use. Because it is a range-extender, servicing costs would be lower. The snag is the price: This is essentially a commercial vehicle and it carries a hefty price tag of over £55,000. There are more than enough passenger cars available for way less than that.
Is it going to be reliable?
Nobody knows; it’s early days. The brand is owned by the Chinese company Geely, but the vehicle is built right here in Coventry. It seems unlikely that professional cab drivers will accept anything that is less than totally reliable.
Will they become commonplace?
More than likely. Cabbies in London like the idea but they need a good quantity of electric supply points to plug in the charging cables for a top up. Slowly but surely business users in general are beginning to take up the EV option as vans and trucks become available.