Geely, the Chinese company that also owns Volvo, now owns Manganese Bronze Holdings (MBH), makers of London's Black Cab. MBH went into administration late last year, and some had looked to Geely to rescue the company in which it had a 19.7-percent equity stake. Although it's taken three months to strike a deal, and more than half of the workforce was let go, Geely finally agreed to buy MBH for 11.4 million pounds ($17.9M US).
Londoners could be swapping out black cabs for black vans pretty soon. EcoCity vehicles, through its subsidiary KPM-UK, has worked with LTI, the maker of the famous black cab, for almost 20 years. Now EcoCity has signed an agreement with Mercedes-Benz to produce cabs out of Vito Traveliner vans, which produce lower emissions than the LTI offering.
Although there are some concerns about the range of an electric taxi for a city like London, Smith Electric Vehicles wants to prove that it can be made. Smith has announced, via its newsletter, an agreement with LTI Vehicles, the manufacturers of the iconic British taxis, to build a battery powered, zero emission urban taxi cab. Under the agreement, LTI and Smith will produce an all-electric version of LTI's TX4 black cab, branded the TX4E. First tests show that the vehicle can get up to 50mph a
LTI taxis are one of easily-recognized symbols of Great Britain. Current models have a very competent VM Motori-sourced 2.5 liter diesel which gets 23 mpg on city driving (21 mpg with automatic) which is Euro IV compliant. But as anyone visiting a British city can assess, not all taxis have the latest iteration of clean engines.