New Plant To Build 36,000 Black Cabs A Year

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 38 months ago
New Plant To Build 36,000 Black Cabs A Year

Photo by Adam Lister in the Londonist Flickr pool.

A new plant on the outskirts of Coventry will build up to 36,000 London taxi cabs a year, as the company announces plans to invest heavily in more environmentally-friendly vehicles.

The London Taxi Company (LTC) — owned by Chinese manufacturer Geely — currently has a Coventry plant that employs 240 staff and makes 2,000 taxis a year. When the new plant opens in a couple of years, it's expected to lead to 500 new jobs and increase production nineteen-fold. Of course, not all of the vehicles will end up on the streets of London; they'll find their way into other UK cities and even abroad (the hackney carriage, for example, is a familiar sight in Shanghai).

So, apart from a a fleet of shiny cars, what do these expansion plans mean for London? Well, hopefully less air pollution. According to the BBC Geely has pledged £80m for the research and production of its new TX5 model. Initially, this will mean a hybrid engine, but a fully electric version has been touted for 2018. The larger, more technologically-advanced factory should help Geely and LTC realise these targets.

London's first electric zero-emission taxi — the Metrocab went on trial earlier this year, and is already licensed to carry fare-paying passengers.

Last Updated 26 March 2015


Given the mileage they do then a pure fixed battery isn't going to work without the engine for long so it's hardly zero emissions even at source.
We need the cabs to have automatically swappable batteries with a standardised system.
Then swapping machines built into the roads at junctions with traffic lights (so it's swapped then they are on red)
The engine can then be removed entirely and the batteries would then be rented to the user (lowering vehicle purchase cost) and charged at low cost times (smoothing out demand)
Once the taxis use this then general public's cars/vans can use the same system and maybe even buses so we can banish diesel forever.

Would need a TFL/Government/Mayor with a vision and co-ordination though!


surely the amount of air pollution being dished-out daily by black cabs is disappointing to say the least,


19x production? Wow - would love to know where they think they're going to sell all of them. They've been trying to make overseas sales work for years without success - wonder why they think it's different this time.


What about the Nissan taxis? Are they on the road yet?