A new facility for manufacturing next generation electric black cabs has been officially opened by the London Taxi Company (LTC).
The new plant, at Ansty Park near Coventry, is the first all-new vehicle manufacturing facility to be built in Britain for more than a decade and the first dedicated electric vehicle factory in the UK.
It will be used to produce range-extended electric vehicles including the next generation London taxi – TX5 – the world’s first purpose-built, mass-market electric taxi.
This new vehicle, which will go on sale in London later this year, features a three-cylinder Volvo petrol engine which is used as a generator for the vehicle’s battery pack and electric motors. The car is claimed to have a pure EV range of over 70 miles.
The facility, which has the capacity to build over 20,000 vehicles per year, is the result of a £300m investment from LTC’s Chinese parent company Geely Automotive.
The site will also become a globally connected research and development centre in electric vehicle powertrains and lightweight aluminium body structures, which will be applied in all vehicles made at the plant.
According to LTC all vehicles produced at the plant will go through the most stringent testing regime in the company’s history. Each test vehicle will cover almost 500,000km, often in extreme conditions.
Commenting on the opening of the plant 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.”
Business secretary Greg Clarke added: “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.”