Chinese automaker BYD has reached an agreement to provide London with its first fleet of all-electric cabs.

BYD and Greentomatocars signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in which BYD would supply 50 all-electric e6 vehicles for the company's fleet. Greentomatocars, which operates about 300 cabs throughout London, expects to have the EVs in service by mid-2013. The e6 delivers around 100 horsepower and has a single-charge range of up to 186 miles.

Using EVs for cabs is topical because the high-mileage/low speed driving conditions create the opportunity to substantially cut refueling costs compared to traditional cabs. A Washington, DC-area taxicab operator recently said he planned to have an all-electric fleet of cabs and ordered about 40 Nissan Leaf vehicles. That company, Electric Vehicle Taxicab Company, is also planning to install 56 DC fast-charging stations in the company's service area.

And earlier this year, Nissan promoted the all-electric Leaf in the London area by providing free cab rides. New York City and Mexico City are among other areas where Leafs have been tested in taxi fleets. Check out BYD's press release below.
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BYD and greentomatocars to debut pure electric minicabs in London

London, United Kingdom – Oct 24, 2012 - BYD and greentomatocars have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to create London's first fleet of all-electric minicabs.

BYD, the fastest-growing Chinese car manufacturer that is pioneering hybrid and electric vehicles, will supply greentomatocars with 50 of its pure electric e6 models for trial use in the Capital.

greentomatocars is London's second largest quality minicab service and strives to use the most environmentally-friendly vehicles available in its fleet of 300. It is expected that the 50 electric BYD e6 will be available for its customers to use from the second quarter of 2013. The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:

"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. Every year the fleet is getting cleaner, making our city an even more attractive place to live, work and visit. Encouraging many more electric vehicles is a key part of this transformation, so it is great news that greentomatocars has committed to operating 50 of these super clean machines from next year." BYD Chairman Wang Chuanfu said: "We are delighted to supply greentomatocars with e6 vehicles that will create London's first electric minicab fleet. The e6 has zero tailpipe emissions, so it avoids contributing to the city's CO2 levels and results in cleaner air for Londoners." Jonny Goldstone, managing director of greentomatocars added: "We are very pleased to be working with BYD on this project. As a partner company, BYD has shown great leadership to challenge the status quo, innovate and electrify mass transport - principles which go to the very heart of greentomatocars."

"As a car, we see strong parallels between the e6 of today and the then-unfashionable Toyota Prius of 2006. It's exciting to think that, even as a 5-car start up, we played a major role in making the Prius popular; 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", said Mr Goldstone. BYD has also been supported in this deal by London & Partners, the Mayor's official promotional organisation for London.

The five-seat e6 is a crossover vehicle with a spacious interior that lends itself perfectly to the private hire market, with substantial legroom and headroom for passengers, as well as ample luggage capacity. It is a zero-direct-emission electric vehicle, which means that it emits no harmful toxic emissions, criteria pollutants or harmful greenhouse gases. BYD e6 taxis are well-proven and have already driven a total of more than 14 million miles in key global markets.

The e6 features a 75kW motor and BYD's own Fe battery (Iron Phosphate battery), which gives the car a range of up to 186 miles on a single charge in urban conditions with a top speed of 87mph and instant torque providing excellent acceleration. The Fe battery can be fully charged and discharged for more than 4,000 cycles.

Present at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding were BYD Chairman Wang Chuanfu; BYD Senior Director Henry Li, BYD Europe Business Director Paul Lin; BYD EU Regional Manager Michael Miao; Co-founder and MD of greentomatocars, Jonny Goldstone; Co-founder of greentomatocars, Tom Pakenham; CEO UK and Ireland of Veolia Transdev, Nigel Stevens; and Marketing Manager of greentomatocars, Hamish Phillips. About BYD BYD Co., Ltd is a leading-edge provider of green energy technologies that specialises in the IT, automotive, and new energy industries. Being the world's biggest rechargeable battery manufacturer, BYD has also major global market share for cell-phone contract manufacturing. BYD branched out into the auto business in 2003, and has kept a robust yearly growth rate successively. In 2008, Warren Buffett invested $232 million to take a 9.89% stake in BYD. Today, BYD is the fastest-growing Chinese auto company and a global pioneer in the field of new energy vehicles including Dual Mode Electric Passenger Cars, Pure electric Buses and Pure Electric Vans /Trucks. Based on its core Fe Battery technology, BYD has worked out a Green City Solution, which aims to electrify urban public transportation systems by transitioning from gasoline and diesel buses and taxis to pure electric ones. In March 2012, BYD and Daimler AG officially announced the entirely new EV brand Denza in China. In addition, BYD has also focused on the Research & Development and manufacturing of a wide range of new energy products, including energy storage system, solar energy products and LED lighting.

About greentomatocars
greentomatocars is London's alternative to local minicabs, executive cars and black taxis. Established in 2006 as London's first green minicab company, its fleet now numbers 300, making it the second largest in the capital. With free Wi-Fi on board, text messaging on arrival and an iPhone booking app, greentomatocars offers a quality service at highly competitive rates. greentomatocars is part of the Veolia Transdev Group, the world's largest sustainable transport company. For more information please visit www.greentomatocars.com

About London & Partners
London & Partners is the official promotional organisation for London with the remit of attracting and delivering value to businesses, students and visitors. London & Partners is a not-for-profit organisation, funded by the Mayor of London and a network of commercial partners. For more information of London & partners go to www.londonpartners.com

About BYD
BYD is ranked #1 at the top of Bloomberg's and Business Week's 2009 Tech 100 List (http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20100520006751/en/BYD-Tops-Bloomberg-Busi nesswee k80%99s-12th-Annual-Tech ) and is the leading manufacturer of advanced, environmentally-friendly battery technologies like the BYD's Iron Phosphate battery used in BYD electric vehicles and electric buses. BYD's solar panels and LED Lighting systems have CEC, TUV/CE and UL listings, and the company enjoys rapid growth in consumer electronics space and electrified transportation sector manufacturing under its BYD brand. BYD is the fastest-growing Chinese automotive and green energy technology enterprise. The Company trades on the Hong Kong Exchange (HKE) under the ticker numbers (HK.0285 – BYD Electronics) and (HK.1211 – BYD Company Ltd.), as well as on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange under the ticker number (002594 - BYD Company Ltd.). For more information, visit www.byd.com , www.facebook.com/bydcompany or email pr@byd.com


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 13 Comments
      imoore
      • 1 Day Ago
      First Mercedes, then Nissan, and now BYD. Looks like the poor old black London Cab can't catch a break. Could we be witnessing the next Checker Marathon/ford Crown Vic?
      Marcopolo
      • 1 Day Ago
      @Dave Mart You raise a good point. It's important to separate the politics of BYD's E6 taxi from the quality of the vehicle itself. But, the politics do matter ! BYD is built with some of the most appalling work practices. Not even at s during the 1930's depression era did Detroit or other Western car makers indulge in such practices, simply to generate profits. Those western business partners who exploit this situation, are little better than those criminal corporations who willingly, and knowingly, volunteered to profit from the products of SS death camps. But those who seek to profit from the importation of cheap products from the PRC also unwittingly undermine their own national interest. The unfair and dishonest trade practices of those short term collaborators with the PRC, destroy employment and investment in their own nations. In addition the industrial practices PRC firms like BYD, are environmentally harmful on an unprecedented scale. There is very little value in achieving a miniscule, token saving in emissions in London, at the expense of massive environmental damage to the entire planet ! Quite rightly, many voices are raised at the unscrupulous behaviour of Western corporations in the third world, yet no voices are raised to complain about the even more cruel and corrupt practices by the PRC ! The BYD, will be allowed to be sold in the West by hypocritical, and weak Western governments, seeking a green image. BYD products will enter Western markets, with a 60% PR government subsidy. This will effectively ensure that investment to produce better EV technology will cease in the West, as any competitor to BYD, would face the prospect of having to sell at three times the price. Already, the technology transfer of IP to the BYD from Western Nations, at bargain prices (much of it funded by tax dollars) is a disgrace ! Conservative or leftist, this situation is against both political interests. If you don't want your children to have a future, then stand back and applaud weak western governments, cravenly feed this monster for short term gain ! As for the quality of the vehicle itself. Well it's not all that bad. It feels like it looks, about the design of a 1970's Nissan, with the quality control by British Leyland ! Despite much propaganda, the range is considerably lower than boasted, even when operating in flat, crowded Chinese city's. But, yes it does provide a viable, if utilitarian EV Taxi.
        DaveMart
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Marcopolo
        @Marco: 'As for the quality of the vehicle itself. Well it's not all that bad. It feels like it looks, about the design of a 1970's Nissan, with the quality control by British Leyland ! Despite much propaganda, the range is considerably lower than boasted, even when operating in flat, crowded Chinese city's. But, yes it does provide a viable, if utilitarian EV Taxi.' Thanks. That is the bit I was interested in!
      DaveMart
      • 1 Day Ago
      'The e6 features a 75kW motor and BYD's own Fe battery (Iron Phosphate battery), which gives the car a range of up to 186 miles on a single charge in urban conditions with a top speed of 87mph and instant torque providing excellent acceleration. The Fe battery can be fully charged and discharged for more than 4,000 cycles.' If I were a London taxi driver, given the choice between this and the Leaf, I know which I would drive. Apparently from the specs not only has it better range, but the battery is good for over 500,000 miles, in contrast to the 60,000 miles to 80% capacity for the Leaf on the NEDC cycle. There is good operational experience for this car due to it's use as a taxi in China since 2010: http://www.greencarcongress.com/2010/05/byd-20100518.html#more
        DaveMart
        • 1 Day Ago
        @DaveMart
        'The Fe battery can be fully charged and discharged for more than 4,000 cycles.' Wow! Just had another look at that! That is 100% DOD! The cycle life is incredible, and would mean that should you need to fast charging should not be a problem, handy for unexpected runs in a taxi, as you could hardly make the customer wait.
      Marco Polo
      • 1 Day Ago
      I have experienced the BYD EV taxi first hand and is not that great ! However, its cheap. Not only cheap, but heavily subsidized by the PRC regime. Although the present UK conservative government is very supportive of EV technology, the previous UK Labour government was very anti-UK manufacturing. The London Black Cab company and Modec, were both companies who spent vast sums on developing advanced EV technology, only to see it disappear at fire sale prices to the US and PRC. From being world leaders in EV technology, the UK will now find itself importing, second-rate taxi's, priced to ensure no competition, while UK workers wait in the dole queues. The problem with allowing these industries to disappear is, once gone, it's just uneconomic to try to recreate them. The skilled workforce is lost and the suppliers disappear. Vale, 100 years of Black Cabs ! I designed an EV taxi for Australia's three largest cities, but despite countless promises from the Australian Labour/Green party government, the taxi fleet remains fueled by LPG sold at a third the price of gasoline, while electricity prices have doubled !
        DaveMart
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Marco Polo
        So, what was the matter with the BYD taxi? Presumably it was still quiet and vibration free, and I know which battery I would prefer between that and the one in the Leaf, The car design looks a bit old fashioned, but I am unclear, commercial issues aside, what you are objecting to in the actual vehicle.
      Rick
      • 1 Day Ago
      This is much more practical than a Leaf as a taxi, only reservations these have been catching fire in China when involved in a crash.
        DaveMart
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Rick
        It was car singular, not plural: 'A few months ago, in China, BYD (Build Your Dreams) hit the headlines when one of its e6 electric vehicles caught fire and burned to the ground after being hit by a Nissan GT-R, killing the vehicle’s three occupants. At the time, the e6’s battery pack was seen as a root cause of the fire and deaths; however, a new investigation by Chinese authorities has revealed the high-speed impact of the accident was to blame and the occupants of the taxi were killed when the GT-R barreled into the e6 at a speed of 110 mph.' http://www.hybridcars.com/news/batteries-not-blame-byd-ev-fire-49661.html
        Levine Levine
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Rick
        Rick is a bad propagandist. Autoblog readers had read the news report that the fire was not caused by the battery pack. Good try, though.
      Levine Levine
      • 1 Day Ago
      Where are the American made EV taxi?
      Marcopolo
      • 1 Day Ago
      @ DaveMart Maybe a little macabre, and intending no disrespect to the unfortunate victims, nor wishing to endorse the GTR drivers reprehensible behaviour, the fact that the driver of the GTR was unscathed, does illustrate the GTR's build quality and safety features !
      DaveMart
      • 1 Day Ago
      The battery on this is around 63kwh, so clearly the energy density of the lithium iron battery is 'good enough'.
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