Last month, Chinese-owned London Taxi Co raised $400 million for the development of their new plug-in hybrid black cabs. Now, the company wants to expand outside the UK.
The plug-in hybrid cabs are expected to go on sale in the fourth quarter of 2017, to coincide with London’s Jan.1, 2018 deadline that requires all taxis licensed for the first time to be zero emission capable.
The investment pushed owner of the London Taxi Co. Geely to consider other markets as well, with the company showcasing the TX5 plug-in hybrid prototype in Paris, in an attempt to offer the vehicle to cabbies in the French capital by 2018, AutoNews reports.
Moreover, with the TX5’s spacious cabin and extended range, the company is targeting other urban centers, as it plans to expand to cities such as Barcelona, Oslo, Amsterdam and Berlin.
“Most of the major cities in Europe have an air-pollution problem. The limited range of existing models is what has stopped until now the adoption of electric vehicles as the mainstay of taxis,” said Peter Johansen, head of the taxi manufacturer.
London Taxi is also planning to offer the vehicle to ride sharing companies, such as Uber, and although official prices weren’t announced yet, the company said the cost of the vehicle will make it attractive.
Designed at Geely’s design center in Barcelona by Volvo’s ex-Chief Designer Peter Horburry and David Ancona, the new TX5 can accommodate up to six passengers and offers more leg room for the driver. The model also comes with panoramic glass roof, wheelchair access and Wifi Hotspot and charging points for the driver and passengers.