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It started with a blip. Ahead of electric vehicle company LEVC releasing its fleet of TX zero-emission black cabs onto the streets of London in December 2017, it was revealed that many of the meters weren't working. There were also rumblings that the city wasn't fitted with enough charging points.
Such teething problems now seem quelled, partially at least. Come the end of 2018, 90 charging points will be fitted around London, for use by over 300 of these futuristic black cabs, now plying their way through the capital. (There are around 50 others operating in the UK too, including in Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, and Coventry — close to where they're manufactured.)
Between them, the 350 cars are expected in a year, to cover 10.7 million miles — equivalent to travelling to the moon and back 20 times. The vehicles will also, claims LEVC, save their owners £1.8m in fuel costs (in total, we presume) and reduce CO2 emissions from the taxi sector by 2,450 tonnes.
You can't deny this is positive news, in a city that suffers around 9,500 deaths caused by air pollution, yearly.
Though the government's latest plans to reduce fuel emissions on the UK's roads weren't as stringent as some had hoped, the rules for black cabs in London state that only zero-emissions taxis can now be introduced into the fleet of 23,000. Gradually but significantly then, we can expect to see that figure of 300 TXs to rise. And more than you might first think: LEVC CEO Chris Gubbey has made clear his intentions that the electric black cab will directly rival Uber. The issue for LEVC here, is that hybrid cars — Uber drivers's preferred type — will still be permitted to be sold post 2040.
Surely more often than not, it'll be cost — not conscience — that decides which car Londoners choose to get into.