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Cost-effective ERAD replacements could herald new era for electric black cab owners

The taxi sector is abuzz with the introduction of a groundbreaking 'tried and tested' Electric Rear Axle Drive (ERAD) system for LEVC TX black cabs, promising substantial savings.

I.D Taxis unveiled an ERAD replacement service for £2,495 plus VAT, a figure significantly lower than the daunting £4,000-£5,000 repair costs currently facing drivers. Accompanied by a one-year warranty, the development could alleviate one of the most burdensome expenses for cab owners.

The financial strain of maintaining LEVC TX cabs, especially post-warranty, has driven many within the industry to seek more economical repair solutions. The escalating costs of extended warranties, which surged from £3,600 for a three-year coverage in 2023 to an astonishing £5,800, alongside a new £250 excess charge, have exacerbated the situation, making affordable ERAD replacements a crucial lifeline for drivers.

What is an ERAD?

The eAxle made its debut within Volvo’s T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid lineup, earning the Automotive News PACE Innovation Award in 2016. In these vehicles, GKN Driveline’s technology serves a ‘axle split’ function, delivering power to the rear wheels through a 60kW electric motor, while a combustion engine propels the front wheels.

For the LEVC TX, the eAxle takes on a more central role as the primary drive mechanism, equipped with a stronger 120kW electric motor. This setup is complemented by a small petrol engine located at the taxi's front, which extends the vehicle's range by charging the battery pack, ensuring the taxi is propelled electrically at all times. The TX boasts an official pure-electric range of about 80 miles, which extends to a total of 377 miles with the assistance of the petrol generator.

Engineered specifically for the LEVC, the coaxial eAxle has been tailored to suit the unique driving dynamics required by the vehicle. While it shares its fundamental design with the Volvo plug-in hybrids' eAxle, it incorporates specific features designed to meet a distinct set of performance criteria. This bespoke unit is notable for its light weight, under 17Kg, and its mechanical efficiency, which can reach up to 97.5%.

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