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ELECTRIC TAXI REVIEW: 100,000 miles in a LEVC TX


Image credit: LEVC

Back in the Summer of 2018 I was asked whether I’d like to test drive the then new electric LEVC TX and review it. A few months later in November I had bought my first taxi since becoming a taxi driver in 2009.


Fast forward four-years and 100,000 miles, it’s probably the ideal time to review how the taxi has performed, what works and what doesn’t, and whether I’d do it all again given the chance. For this article I’ll break it down into four-categories; the vehicle, the maintenance, the charging capabilities and finally whether it works as a taxi.


Vehicle


The LEVC TX is a huge step up from anything else on the purpose-built taxi market. The smooth ride and quiet environment make a big difference to cabbies working long-shifts. I would exit the TX4 caped in dirt and subjected to high heat from the engine for

hours on end. Put it this way... I never left that cab in a ‘fresh’ state!

I’ve found the driver’s seat very comfortable, the dashboard easy to use and everything ergonomically sound. I did miss the TX4 arm rest to begin with though!


The regen braking takes a little getting used to and drivers should be prepared for the judders that sometimes occur when braking over wet manholes.


With vinyl passenger flooring and a hardwearing interior, the front and back cabins can look spotless after a quick clean. One recommendation I would make is think about buying driver foot mats straight away... I didn’t and now have a hole in the carpet where my heel rests.

The body work looks good four years on and is easy to keep clean. The panoramic passenger window is the hardest to reach spot and is a good reason to not park under trees harbouring birds!


Maintenance

There has been zero breakdowns and one ‘incident’ that required repairs. The incident... a pheasant (RIP) flew into the front of the cab shattering the grill and cracking the bumper. A new grill cost just over £100 and the bumper was skilfully repaired and painted for a little over £200.


Three years into ownership I was one of the drivers that experienced a cracked windscreen whilst pootling down The Mall with a passenger onboard. The window was quickly replaced under manufacturer’s fault, but there is a lingering concern that it may randomly happen again when outside of my warranty.

Other maintenance outside of the warranty and service plans, includes two lots of new brake pads, one set of brake discs and tyres. The brake pads and discs pretty much matched the cost of a similar maintenance bill on a family car. The tyres are a few quid more than their diesel counterparts and currently sit at £106 each (UK Tyres West London).

Image credit: LEVC

Overall, very happy to have not missed any work due to the cab being off the road with a mechanical fault. Certainly better than my multiple TX4 experiences!


I’m lucky enough to have a home charger. I charge the cab overnight and it’s ready to go when I leave for work. The public charging network could be better. More rapid chargers are needed in central areas of towns and cities heavily serviced by cabs and more suburban on-street chargers needed for those who have no access to off-street charging.

Because of the above, the LEVC TX set up which includes a petrol range-extender works perfectly. There is no range anxiety, you do not HAVE to stop and charge when it’s busy or you’re not ready for a break and it saves money on fuel... even in these strange economic times.

As a full-time taxi driver doing the mileage, the cab makes perfect sense. This vehicle has cost me less than renting previous TX4’s.


A working taxi


Passengers love the vehicle. Even four-years on from buying the TX, pretty much every shift will contain an in-depth conversation about the taxi and electric vehicles. As mentioned, it’s easy to keep clean and leaves punters happy. And happy punters equate to better tips!


In terms of future improvements, the ‘Taxi’ light could be better designed for bright sunny days and the intercom needs bettering too. The wheelchair ramp is easy to use, but you need a degree-level qualification to work out how the wheelchair straps work.

Would I buy it again knowing what I know now?


Owning the vehicle throughout the pandemic was financially difficult as I didn’t work during that period. It was costing me more in fuel than what I earned. That said, that has nothing to do with the vehicle itself, and I would have felt the same financial problems with any other taxi model.


I have no regrets buying the LEVC TX and plan to keep it past the 5-years under a new 3-year warranty. I genuinely can’t ever see me going back to a non-electric drive-chain taxi and until the charging network drastically improves, I have no intention going fully-electric.

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