Electric taxi conversions firm, Clipper Cabs, are seeking further investment after winning government funding worth £160,000 to bring the green technology to life.
The start-up technology firm set up by two experts in their field, Dr Alexander Howard and Janosch Oppermann, aims to turn diesel black taxis into Zero Emission Capable (ZEC) vehicles.
Clipper are looking to generate £320,000 to fund development over the next year and bring the new retrofit product to market. £160,000 has been already raised in government grant funding awarded by OLEV and Innovate UK through the Niche Vehicle Network, with a further £20,000 added via self-funding.
The team behind Clipper are now looking for another £140,000 from early investors at a pre-money valuation of £1million.
There are currently over 11,000 diesel cabs registered in London alone and each driver travels on average 30,000 miles each year. According to the automotive start-up, certain classes of diesel have up to 60% higher NOx emissions than some equivalent petrol cars.
By focussing on turning these diesel taxis into ZEC vehicles, the ‘Clipper Cab’ product will look to maximise the volume of electrically-powered journeys and reduce harmful emissions.
There are also other benefits to cabbies thinking about the possibility of an electric upgrade on their diesel vehicles. These include; fuel savings, maintenance that is on average 23% cheaper, emission charge exemptions, reduced noise and vibration and finally increased torque.
Clipper’s ambition is to create a business that is robust in a post-COVID world and prove that there are solutions that tackle air pollution, climate change and are affordable.
The grant funded project will run from October for 9 months, with the aim of bringing a product to market. Through the project Clipper will convert 3 to 5 cabs; each will be seen as a step towards the production-ready version which Clipper will submit to Transport for London (TfL) for regulatory approval in the capital.
Each of those cabs, including the prototype currently undergoing its MOT, will be pushed to be licensed outside of London as soon as possible to operate as a taxi, to test the scheme and generate revenue.