Frazer-Nash is finally ready to take its extended-range plug-in taxicabs to the streets. The left-hand side of the street, at least.

The UK-based company, along with development partner Ecotive, has been working on the Metrocab for a decade and is finally ready to start cab-driver trials. From the available specs, the new cab sounds pretty impressive. An estimated 75 miles per gallon - more than three times the fuel efficiency than the current typical London taxi - and a 75-percent cut in emissions compared to standard cabs. The electric part of the powertrain (including a 12.2-kWh lithium-ion battery) is complemented by a 1.0-liter gas-powered range extender, and the whole thing can travel about 350 miles with a full tank and battery. The cab has an 80-mile-per-hour top speed, perfect of flashing the driver a fistful of money and saying, "Follow that car!" The Metrocab can even fit seven once the special front seat is deployed. Pricing will be "competitive," Frazer-Nash says, though we're not quite sure what that means.

The cab recently gained some political attention in the UK when London Mayor Boris Johnson (and his perpetually messy hair) took a ride in a prototype of the Metrocab and gave the vehicle the proverbial thumbs up. Check out Frazer-Nash's release below.
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FRAZER-NASH CONFIRMS SPECIFICATION DETAILS AND LAUNCHES TRIALS FOR ALL-NEW BRITISH DESIGNED, ENGINEERED & BUILT METROCAB

FRAZER-NASH CONFIRMS SPECIFICATION DETAILS AND LAUNCHES IN-MARKET TRIALS FOR ALL-NEW BRITISH DESIGNED, ENGINEERED AND BUILT METROCAB

All-new Range Extended Electric Metrocab taxi for London – trials launched this week
>75mpg and over three times more fuel efficient than comparable current London taxi
>75% less CO2 than comparable current London taxi, <50g/km CO2
>560km combined range
Significantly lower running costs, typically saving a London cabbie £30 – £40 per day
Zero-emissions mode and home charging via standard mains outlet
Evolutionary design, sympathetic to iconic London taxi silhouette
>10 years in development and over a million engineering test kilometres
Six passenger seats (plus optional seventh passenger seat in the front)
Fully compliant with London Public Carriage Office (PCO) regulations

City Hall, London, 15 January 2014 – Frazer-Nash and Ecotive, the companies behind the all-new, purpose-built Range Extended Electric (REE) Metrocab taxi confirm the vehicle's full specification.

The British designed, engineered and built Metrocab, from Mytchett Surrey-based Ecotive and Frazer-Nash, is a new generation zero-emissions electric-powered taxi for London, and represents the cutting edge of green transport technology with a design both evolutionary and sympathetic to the iconic black cab silhouette.

Metrocab Chairman Sir Charles Masefield said:

"The all-new Range Extended Electric Metrocab has been in development since the mid-2000s with several prototypes built and over a million kilometres of engineering tests completed. Instantly recognisable as an iconic London Hackney Cab, with a panoramic glass roof for views of the city, our new all-British London cab offers, for no price premium, completely new levels of economy, emissions and passenger comfort and is ready to enter service this year, benefitting the passenger, driver, city and environment alike."

Ready now, Metrocab launches a campaign this week inviting London taxi drivers to register with the company for real-world trials in the new zero emissions capable taxi, demonstrating significant cost savings, environmental benefits, easy ownership and maintenance and enhanced passenger experience.

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, optimised 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 in-market trials this year, the Metrocab will be rolled out in London and other key cities in the UK and internationally.

A key features walk-around film of the Metrocab is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNkQK0TNYcQ and drivers wishing to register for a trial in the taxi can do so by visiting www.metrocab.com/trial

METROCAB DATASHEET *

GENERAL

Range extended electric vehicle
Fully compliant with London Public Carriage Office (PCO) regulations
Capable of zero emission operation
Vehicle health diagnostics and status telemetry system

VEHICLE DIMENSIONS

Overall length:................................ 4,905mm
Overall width:................................. 1,800mm
Overall height:................................ 1,925mm
Wheel base:....................................3,181mm
VEHICLE WEIGHT

Kerb:.................................................. 1,750kg
Gross:................................................ 2,515kg

PERFORMANCE

Top speed:........................................ 80mph (Restricted)
Max gradient:................................... 1:3
Emissions:.........................................<50g/km CO2
Turning circle: ................................... 7.62m (Meets PCO requirement)
Regenerative braking

DRIVELINE

Peak motor power:........................ 2 x 50kW
Peak wheel torque:........................ 2 x 1,400Nm

RANGE EXTENDER

1 litre petrol range-extender engine coupled to generator unit
Fuel efficient urban and highway generating modes
Meets Euro 5 emission standards

BATTERY SYSTEM

Lithium-ion polymer large format cells
Stored capacity:............................... 12.2kWh
3kW on board charging

COMFORT

Driver multi-function touch screen display and instrument cluster with colour display
Passenger colour TV display
USB charging socket
Digital infotainment system
Hands free telephone
Air conditioning and heating
Anti-lock braking system (ABS)
3-seater rear bench seat - fore/aft adjustable for more luggage space when required
3 rear facing flip down seats
1 optional front passenger seat
Full wheelchair access with integrated wheelchair ramp
Panoramic glass roof
Mood Lighting
Air suspension
* Correct at time of going to print, subject to change

Click here to download high-res images

– ENDS –

About the all-new Metrocab:

The purpose-built all-new Range Extended Electric (REE) Metrocab taxi represents the cutting edge of green transportation design. The vehicle incorporates the latest technology for comfort, performance and safety, providing unrivalled efficiency and economy with significantly reduced daily operation and maintenance costs together with customer benefits including full disabled accessibility, panoramic roof for views of the city, increased luggage space and unrivalled comfort for up to seven passengers.

The taxi is driven by two electric motors with a 1-litre petrol engine coupled with a generator to recharge the battery pack. Charging is also available via any mains electric outlet ensuring even lower fuel consumption.

Developed by Frazer-Nash Research, this unique powertrain system offers ultra-low emissions and a zero emissions mode, improved air quality, reduced noise pollution, and economic benefits including tax incentives and grants.

www.newmetrocab.com @metrocabuk


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 8 Comments
      methos1999
      • 11 Months Ago
      Looks a lot better than the Nissan attempt at replacing the black cab.
      Technoir
      • 11 Months Ago
      Looks great, but why so huge? This is almost minibus sized......
        DaveMart
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Technoir
        Cabs in London have to have wheelchair access. Quite right too, in my book.
      • 10 Months Ago
      We need modern, economical, well made taxis all over the country, not just London. The current "London Taxi" is a disgrace and should have been killed off years ago as it is based on a 1940's Morris van. Time to move away from Dickensian values. If it is the Germans or Japanese who make the best vehicles then so be it. Given a choice, very few people would want a TX4.
      Marcopolo
      • 11 Months Ago
      @ Quirky styling, but a very promising contender as a replacement for the existing London Cabs. (London taxis not only are required to provide wheelchair access, but also seat a bride in a wedding gown ! ) Traditionally, London Cabs have been large and commodious, this vehicle follows those traditions. I hope the British firm of Frazer-Nash (owner of Bristol Cars ) , follows Boris Johnson's lead, and provides better supported by Cameron's conservative-lib-Dem government, than the political sabotage of London Cabs Ltd, by the previous Brown Labour government. It was a heartbreaking moment for all true Brits, to see a UK Labour government actively encouraging German and diesel Japanese vehicles for the streets of London, while assisting British EV technology being dismantled in the UK and transfered to PRC owners. Hopefully, thanks to the efforts of Fraser-Nash, and environmentally conscious politicians like Boris Johnson, UK industry may start to prosper again. [ Danny King, it's hard to keep defending an ABG journalist, who thinks giggling about Boris Johnson's hair, like a brainless adolescent school girl reading a fan magazine, passes for informed comment ! )
      paulwesterberg
      • 11 Months Ago
      A plugin vehicle manufacturer provides a realistic, believable mpge figure? Has hell frozen over?
      RC
      • 11 Months Ago
      Best taxi concept I've seen in a long time. The Metrocab is iconic and cool. I hope it succeeds.