England

New Warwickshire-built hybrid London taxi unveiled

New taxi Image copyright London EV Company
Image caption The hybrid vehicle is due to be seen on London's streets later this year

A new electric and petrol-powered London taxi being built in Warwickshire has been unveiled.

The model, unveiled on Tuesday by the London EV Company (LEVC), runs for about 70 miles on its battery before switching to a petrol engine.

The hybrid vehicle would save drivers an average of £100 each week in fuel costs compared with the outgoing diesel model, the manufacturer said.

It is due to be seen on London's streets later this year.

An initial order for 225 vehicles, which will be built at its headquarters in Ansty, has been placed by Dutch taxi operator RMC.

Zero emissions

The London Taxi Company, now renamed the London EV Company, faced administration in 2013 before China's Zhejing Geely Holding Group stepped in to rescue the firm.

From next year all new London cabs must be capable of producing zero emissions, while there will be a ban on new diesel taxis entering the city.

LEVC chief executive Chris Gubbey said: "London has led the way in setting out tough measures to reduce taxi and van emissions and in just a few short years we expect electric vehicles for the commercial operator will not just become commonplace but mandatory in cities around the world, creating huge opportunities for LEVC globally."

An LEVC spokesman said: "We have had thousands of expressions of interest from individual drivers in London. The order book will open on 1 August when we'll take deposits."

He said taxi drivers in London were a mixture of those who own their vehicle and others who rent from companies, which had bought taxis in bulk.

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