We'd like to think details involving the proposed plug-in London taxi that is to be developed by Ecotive and Frazer-Nash were lost in translation but, well, we're talking about London, so there's no excuse. Instead, we're just going to have to take London Mayor Boris Johnson's word for it, and he seems to think such cabs are the wave of London's taxi-cab future.

The basics are that Ecotive and Frazer-Nash have developed a six-passenger cab with big-old glass windows and a drivetrain that allows for emissions-free driving in one of the world's most trafficked cities. The Range-Extended Electric (REE) Metrocab will have a trial fleet ready to go early next year. It's also supposed to be priced "competitively" and will feature a lithium-ion battery pack as well as an electric motor powering each of the rear wheels. We don't know yet what the cab's single-charge range is or how much it'll actually cost.

London has long been perceived as a great market to launch plug-in taxis, and they've been tested in various forms there. Last June, Nissan promoted its all-electric Leaf in London by accepting Tweets as payment for cab rides in specially painted Leafs throughout the city. Nissan started production of the Leaf at its Sunderland plant in the UK earlier this year. And last October, China-based BYD said it reached an agreement with Greentomatocars to supply 50 all-electric e6 vehicles for a London taxi-cab fleet. Check out the press release from Ecotive and Frazer-Nash below, where you can also find a video.

Show full PR text
London Mayor Boris Johnson is First to See Zero-Emissions-Capable Next Generation Metrocab World Taxi

LONDON, Dec. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Ecotive and Frazer-Nash present ready-for-market UK-built electric powered next-generation Metrocab to London Mayor

-- Cities to benefit from zero emissions capability, improved air quality and reduced noise pollution
-- Drivers benefit with >75mpg, home charging via standard mains outlet, significantly reduced costs, enhanced comfort, performance and technology
-- Passengers benefit from improved ride, six passenger seats, full-length panoramic glasshouse, sizeable boot for increased luggage space, full disabled accessibility

London Mayor Boris Johnson took an exclusive first look today at an all-new Range-Extended Electric (REE) Metrocab from UK-based Ecotive and its technology partner Frazer-Nash Research. The Mayor also couldn't resist the temptation to get behind the wheel for a short drive, demonstrating that the Metrocab is ready for market.

Designed, engineered and built in-house by Ecotive and Frazer-Nash in Mytchett, Surrey, UK, the new zero-emissions-capable world taxi is set to launch as a trial fleet on the streets of London early in 2014.

Boris Johnson said:

"Ecotive, with technical expertise from Frazer-Nash, have designed a unique and purpose-built new Metrocab taxi for London with zero-emissions capabilities, which is exactly the type of vehicle I would be delighted to see entering the market."*

Metrocab Chairman Sir Charles Masefield said:

"The Metrocab is designed as a new generation of taxi for world-class cities and there is no better place to launch it than one of the world's great cities and home to probably the world's most iconic taxi - London. The Metrocab represents a revolution in the market as the first electric-powered cab to meet the typical high-mile duty cycle of a taxi, and which is ready now. Our range extended drivetrain technology offers the solution world-class cities are looking for, and we are confident Metrocab will make a real impact in the market and provide a better service to cities, drivers and passengers alike."

The Metrocab from Ecotive and Frazer-Nash is the latest in a long line of electric powered transport solutions they have marketed and developed over the last 25 years with world-class highly efficient, optimized and fully-integrated digital electric and hybrid-electric powertrains. Priced competitively to enter the taxi market, the Metrocab is powered by a lithium-ion polymer battery pack with an electric motor to each of the rear wheels.

Following the trial early next year, the Metrocab will be rolled out in London and to other key cities around the world.

Further details will be announced during the first London fleet trial in early 2014.

About Frazer-Nash

In the early 20th century, Archibald Goodman Frazer Nash partnered with Henry Ronald Godfrey and formed Frazer-Nash Limited, to produce affordable motor vehicles.

Over the past 25 years, Frazer-Nash has evolved to develop world-class highly energy efficient, optimized and fully-integrated digital electric and hybrid-electric powertrains, and famously has been Official Vehicle Partner with its fleets of electric vehicles to both the Commonwealth Games and Olympic Games. Today, the company delivers technology to market for its brands including Bristol Cars and Metrocab under the Ecotive banner.

* Stated in a letter from Boris Johnson published in the Telegraph newspaper on 29 October 2013.

To view a video of Boris Johnson viewing the new Metrocab taxi, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYO_diBOMls

SOURCE Metrocab and Frazer-Nash

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      The history of electrifying London's iconic Black Hackney Cabs, is a heartbreaking saga of deceit, hypocrisy betrayal, short-sightedness, extreme union demands, and apathy by previous UK Labour governments. London was the first city in the world with a fleet of EV taxi's. (beating Boston and NY by several months, in 1896-7). The original iconic London Black Cab was designed by Austin Motors, and coach-built by Carbodies Limited of Coventry. Nationalization, truculent unions, saw first Austin disappear into bankruptcy, finally sold to the German's, and Carbodies sold to Magnese Holdings. Manganese Bronze Holdings, trading as (LTI ltd) London Taxi Company, continued to build the traditional Taxi, introduce a new model (TX4) and began development of EV and Hybrid models. Despite many promises of support by Labour in opposition, the incoming UK Labour government pursues a policy of undermining LTI Ltd, and encourages it's purchase by the PRC manufacturer, Geely. The CEO and Chairman, Lord James "Jamie" Borwick, a prominent advocate for EV's (Founder of Modec EV Vans) lost almost his entire fortune on attempting to make the UK a pioneer in EV engineering. Unfortunately, for LTI, Modec, and British EV progress, Lord Borwick is also a prominent conservative. (His wife is the Conservative deputy-Mayor of London). Element's within in the Labour government were determined to see him fail, and the business, including IP, sold to the Peoples Republic of China. In 2008 UK labour government, rescinds all it's pledges of support, and encourages the use of Mercedes Vito taxi's, weakening LTI's domestic market. Geely buy's a significant shareholding in LTI, and the 'joint venture' results in LTI being forced to recall 460 cab's due to a faulty circlip in a Chinese-engineered steering box. Geely dispute the problem, and unable to source a replacement, LTI, unable to sell new vehicles, slid into administration, only to be purchased by Geely, who along with the 120 year old company, gained all the highly advanced EV engineering and technology IP. A sad saga indeed ! Boris Johnson is famous for his enthusiastic support of UK built , eco-friendly vehicles, and has earned the otherwise, somewhat eccentric conservative politician, a great deal of popular support and respect from voters of all political persuasions. Hopefully, this venture by Frazer-Nash and Ecotive's will prove more successful than Jamie Borwick's. ill-fated ventures. However, much ground has been lost, and PRC manufacturers BYD and Geely, as well as several Europeans manufacturers will provide serious competition.
      • 1 Year Ago
      The new metro cab looks amazing looking forward to having it on the streets of Peterborough
      • 1 Year Ago
      looks like a bentley
      • 1 Year Ago
      They can't come soon enough for me, to greatly reduce emissions and make it easier to breathe the air! I'd fancy BYD to be the winner, as they have already produced thousands of electric taxis, which work just fine, and it is difficult to compete on cost with longer production runs.
      • 1 Year Ago
      It is enormous. Can they make it a bit shorter or does it really need to be Suburban sized?
      • 1 Year Ago
      Another good place for EV cabs would be Mexico city.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Much better than whatever New York City is doing with Nisan.
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