The new TX eCity has just started to roll off the production line and whilst the trade has covered the perceived negatives in great detail, TaxiPoint is going to run through the big positive it may bring to the trade.
Fuel savings If the electric capability brings the cost of a mile down to 4.5p (based on average Tesla performance) would that make a big difference to you? It is worth noting that the range is 80 miles before an economical 1.3l unleaded engine kicks in to generate a further 320 miles. I live outside of London, so spend quite a bit on diesel each working day. Doing my maths I'll save £120-140 each week. Approx £5-7k each year saved on paper. You might argue the cost of the vehicle will be higher and will cancel out any savings. That maybe the case for year one, but year two onwards should see you saving thousands. I'm also reliably informed that there will be a few "nice surprises" when the taxi is finally handed to the trade. You might also argue that the battery will need changing every 3 years at the cost of £10,000. These are likely to be figures plucked from the sky based on car batteries when they first entered the market. Let's now take Tesla as an example. The best batteries on the market currently cost £5,400 to replace and degradation is 10% over 5 years. I am informed there will be no battery rentals to add to your costs and whilst batteries will undoubtably fail at some point so do diesel engines.
So is it just proof of reliability and price creating negativity? Yes, plus the uncertainty of the trade given the lack of support or future clarity from regulators and government. Despite its high tech hybrid powertrain, the TX eCity, with the help of government subsidy, is expected to cost about the same as the TX4 to buy or lease. As for reliability, it's essentially a Volvo dressed as a taxi. Widely regarded as safe and reliable it may just tempt some drivers to take a chance.