Wednesday 22 March 2017, By Autovolo
London Taxi Company has formally opened its new £300 million UK vehicle production plant, which has created more than 1,000 jobs.
Situated in Ansty, near Coventry, the new site will produce the world’s first mass-market electric taxi.
It marks the first major Chinese investment of its kind in the UK automotive industry, with parent company Geely having bought London Taxi Company in 2013 after the firm went into administration.
The first vehicle to be produced at the plant is set to the new range-extender electric black cab, with this powertrain layout cutting fuel costs for drivers and lowering emissions levels for inner city areas.
With a yearly build capacity of more than 20,000 vehicles, the plant is designed to produce taxis that offer the highest level of quality and usability.
Chris Gubbey, chief executive of the London Taxi Company, said: “Today marks the rebirth of the London Taxi Company. A company with a singular vision: to design and build dedicated urban commercial vehicles that can operate without emissions in cities around the world and bring down running costs for drivers.”
Despite maintaining the original black cab’s iconic looks, the new car uses a Volvo electric powertrain and a new lightweight platform. London Taxi Company also says that further derivatives of the car are due to follow.
Greg Clark, secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, said: “Our iconic black cabs are famous across the world. The London Taxi Company’s impressive new factory and R&D facility showcases the innovation that makes the UK a world leader in the development of new automotive technologies.”
The new vehicle retains key features, such as being wheelchair-accessible and offering an impressively high level of manoeuvrability – something the original black cab was renowned for.
The new car is set to go on sale in London in the latter part of this year, while cars will be available to global customers in early 2018. Prices are yet to be revealed.
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