A pure electric LEVC TX taxi will not come to the market for a “considerable time”, according to the firm’s Commercial Director.
Speaking at an event held at the Palace of Westminster earlier this week, a panel of leading figures from across the taxi and electric vehicle industry met to discuss the future of zero emission capable (ZEC) taxis, and how the Government should best support the industry’s progress in adopting ZEC taxi technology.
The panel, which included representatives from LEVC, Free Now, TfL and Charge Point, discussed whether there was a need for a better rapid charging infrastructure and explored the merits of the 3,000 plus electric taxis currently plying their trade in the capital.
Mark Pawsey, the Conservative MP for Rugby, asked the panel: “Can you explain why it’s important for it (the LEVC TX taxi) to continue to be a hybrid and at what stage do you think there might be an opportunity for it to become fully electric?”
Leighton King, LEVC Commercial Director, responded by clarifying the LEVC TX’s status as an electric vehicle saying: “Our vehicles are range extender electric vehicle (EREV) and it importantly means that the wheels are only ever driven by an electric motor which means it’s only ever battery powered.”
He went on to say that the vehicle’s design and engineering was “conceived seven or eight years ago”. At that point King explained it was envisaged that “no city in world” would have the charging capabilities to power a fully electric commercial fleet of taxis.
King finally put to bed any rumours of an imminent pure electric LEVC TX model anytime soon, adding: “It’s true to say one day we will all drive electric vehicles, pure electric vehicles. It’s not for today we see it happening and it will be some considerable time for commercial vehicles.”
Earlier in the panel’s discussion, Transport for London (TfL) confirmed that they will have to “stop check” and evaluate whether there is currently enough electric taxi charging points in London at the moment.
During the discussions, Lucy Hayward-Speight, Transport Strategy and Planning Manager at TfL, revealed that charge point usage within the taxi industry has “more or less doubled”.
Image credits: @MMogardo (Twitter)