London Mayor tests next-generation taxi

London Mayor Boris Johnson took an exclusive first look today at the all-new Range-Extended Electric Metrocab from UK-based Ecotive and its technology partner Frazer-Nash Research.

The Mayor also couldn't resist the temptation to get behind the wheel for a short drive in the nearby car park at City Hall, demonstrating that the Metrocab is ready for market.

Designed, engineered and built in-house by Ecotive and Frazer-Nash in Mytchett, Surrey, UK, the new taxi for London is set to take to the city's streets as a trial fleet early in 2014.

Boris Johnson said, "Ecotive, with technical expertise from Frazer-Nash, has designed a unique and purpose-built new Metrocab taxi for London with zero emissions capabilities, which is exactly the type of vehicle I would be delighted to see entering the market."

Metrocab Chairman Sir Charles Masefield said: "The Metrocab is designed as the next-generation London taxi and represents a revolution in the market as the first electric-powered cab to meet the duty cycle of a London taxi, where cabbies typically drive many miles from outside the city – making pure electric cars impractical with current technology and infrastructure. Ready now, our range extended drivetrain technology offers the solution London and other world-class cities are looking for. We are confident Metrocab will make a real impact in the market and provide a better service to cities, drivers and passengers alike."

The Metrocab from Ecotive and Frazer-Nash is the latest in a long line of electric powered transport solutions they have marketed, and for the last 25 years have developed world-class highly efficient, optimised and fully-integrated digital electric and hybrid-electric powertrains. Priced competitively to enter the London taxi market, the Metrocab is powered by a lithium-ion polymer battery pack with an electric motor to each of the rear wheels.

London will be able to benefit from improved air quality and reduced noise pollution, whilst taxi drivers will be able to achieve more than 75mpg on the combined cycle. Home charging via standard mains outlet will be available which will significantly reduce costs, and the new taxi will offer enhanced comfort and performance. Passengers benefit from improved ride, six passenger seats, full-length panoramic glasshouse, sizeable boot for increased luggage space and full disabled accessibility.

Following the trial early next year, the Metrocab will be rolled out in London and other key cities around the world. Further details will be announced ahead of the first London fleet trial in early 2014.

John Ironmonger

Author:John Ironmonger
Date Updated:30th Dec 2013

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