Fleet of electric taxis set for London

London cabs are set to get an eco-makeover after it was revealed that a fleet of all-electric taxis is set to trial in the capital next spring.

Chinese firm BYD has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to create the all-EV taxi fleet, in association with London’s second-largest minicab service greentomatocars, bringing taxis in one of the world’s most metropolitan cities thoroughly up to date. The taxis will be pure electric BYD e6 models; an all-electric crossover model that draws some similarities to the concept used by Nissan Qashqai.

The BYD e6 has proved that it can go the distance, boasting a range of over 185 miles, and if the initial trial of the environmentally friendly taxi proves successful it could be rolled out to other regions in the UK.

Putting his full backing behind the scheme, Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, said: “It is great news that greentomatocars has committed to operating 50 of these super clean machines from next year.

“It is my aim that London’s minicabs and taxis will be zero-emission by 2020, which will have a major impact on air quality. Encouraging many more electric vehicles is a key part of this transformation.”

While the London black cab averages 35mpg and emits more than 200g/km CO2, the BYD e6 keeps Mother Nature on side by using no fuel and emitting zero CO2.

Jonny Goldstone, greentomatocars MD, said the BYD e6 could grow in popularity in the same way as the Toyota Prius.

“It’s exciting to think that, even as a 5-car start up, we played a major role in making the Prius popular,” he said.

“Given the scale, experience and high-tech infrastructure we now have at our disposal, we’d love to “do a Prius” with the e6, and help propel electric vehicles into the automotive mainstream – where they deserve and, for all our sakes, need to be.”

An annual global taxi survey by Hotels.com recently named London cabbies best in the world, praising them for their friendliness and knowledge amongst other qualities.

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