The world’s most advanced electric taxis have been handed over to drivers in Manchester for the first time. The city’s first range extended electric taxi will be on the road today – serenely transporting passengers around the city. The arrival of this next generation of black cab comes just a month after the Mayor of Greater Manchester outlined an ambitious environmental plan at the city’s first ever green summit. This plan included commitments to reduce pollution from the transport sector and Manchester’s cabbies are keen to play their role. In his 40s, Nayyer Ahmad has been a cab driver in central Manchester for over 15 years – and has been an EV advocate for some time. Mr Ahmad is currently driving a TX2 and by upgrading to the new vehicle is expected to reduce his carbon footprint by seven tonnes a year (according to figures from HM Treasury).
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “At our Green Summit in March, we set out our vision for making Greater Manchester one of the leading green cities in Europe. “Such ambitions cannot be achieved through policy alone, which is why we’re calling on local people, businesses, organisations and communities across the city-region to make their green pledges and help make Greater Manchester a greener, smarter, more sustainable city-region. “Mr Ahmad has taken the next step so, thanks to him, Greater Manchester will be home to the North West’s first zero-emission taxi. Having a greener taxi fleet could really help cut dangerous emissions and help improve the air we all breathe. “I’m committed to making electric cars a viable, attractive alternative to petrol and diesel vehicles – just one of the ways to help clean up our air. Greater Manchester already has one of the largest electric charging point networks in the country and we’re doubling the number of charging points available.” However, less pollution isn’t the only advantage of these new black cabs. The arrival of these purpose-built electrically driven vehicles means that Mancunians will now get to experience the greater comfort and safety that comes with a taxi designed and built by motoring experts from across the West Midlands. The new taxi, the TX, is already getting positive reviews – and the arrival of the vehicle will mean an improved passenger experience for those in the city. Mr Ahmad said: “I’m absolutely delighted to have the first electric black cab in Manchester. I can't wait to see the response from passengers, I know that they're going to love it.” In addition to being zero emission capable – the cab has six passenger seats, forward facing wheelchair access, power sockets for laptops, USB ports, on-board Wi-Fi, an expansive panoramic roof and active & passive safety systems making it the world’s most advanced taxi. David Kennedy, Brand Manager of LEVC Manchester said: “Our purpose-built, passenger focused taxi, has been designed with the intention of getting more people in the back of cabs – offering the safest, cleanest, quietest and smoothest taxi ride yet. We are delighted to have had the support of Manchester drivers to deliver this vision for the taxi trade in the city.”