Updated: Sep 11
A taxi industry fleet expert dismissed rumours that a Stellantis E Van taxi conversion could soon be entering the market.
In a recent column for TAXI Newspaper, a black cab expert rejected the growing rumours surrounding the conversion of the Stellantis E van into a taxi. The van, currently under various retail brands such as Citroen, Toyota, Vauxhall, or Peugeot, has ignited speculation within the industry regarding its suitability for taxi services.
The expert, who wished to remain anonymous, revealed that the cost of the Stellantis E van, particularly in its Toyota branding, is estimated to be £46,053.96 before on-road charges. Even with a presumed bulk buy discount of 20%, the price still hovers around £40,000.
Further research into the potential conversion revealed numerous challenges that would need to be addressed. The expert mentioned that designing and engineering a partition, adapting the van for wheelchair accessibility, installing appropriate seating, windows, and functional air conditioning in the back would likely amount to an additional cost of £20,000.
Additionally, the prospect of convincing Transport for London (TfL) to abandon the strict regulations surrounding turning circles seems highly unlikely. Should the turning circle requirement remain, it would further inflate the price of the van by an estimated £2,000 to £5,000. With these additional costs factored in, the total price tag could exceed £60,000, making it comparable to the established purpose-built LEVC TX taxi, and offer very little financial benefit to the industry.
The expert said that while anything is possible, they would be genuinely amazed if the speculated conversion ever comes to fruition.
Back in Spring 2023, a meeting with the heads of industry on how to bring alternative vehicles into both the London market and international taxi market was called. Representatives from the Stellantis Group were involved in the meeting.
Sherbet Taxis' Asher Moses shared some detail of the meeting saying: “With heads together such as Jevon Thurston-Thorpe and Roy McMaster from Penso, Jevon was instrumental to the design of the TX1 and Roy put together the Mercedes conversion, along side all that joined us from The Stellantis Group Brad Miller, Zena Allert, Richard Chamberlain, and Scott Finding, it's a very exciting time!”
For now, the rumours of a Stellantis E van taxi seem to be nothing more than just that – rumours. However, as the taxi industry continually evolves, it remains open to unexpected developments that could disrupt the norm.