|LEVC - the new London Electric Cab|
Lulu was the first to notice it - with its LED headlights. The new electric cab is on the streets of London - and it is very different. First off - it is still made in Coventry - where all the old black cabs were made. It still has the tight steering that allows a U-turn in a street 8 meters wide.
It has a 31 KWH battery that holds enough power for 80 miles of driving. It has a plug and can be quick charged in 25 minutes to 80% charge. It also has a small 1.5 liter gasoline engine that can recharge the battery while moving.
LEVC bought theVolvo company and basically underneath the new cab - it is a Volvo XC90. It has an aluminum frame and body. Everything is light weight.
The vehicle can carry 6 passengers in the back. The driver has his own separate cab in the front. The whole passenger compartment has a glass roof for sightseeing. It is a little wider - longer - and taller than the old diesel cab.
At one time London was a dirty polluted city. The smog was so bad from the coal fires and diesel cars - that you could seldom see the sun. As of 2018 - only zero emissions vehicles can be used as cabs. The old ones are being replaced. As of 1956 - they passed the Clean Air Act - and although most houses here still have many chimneys - they are all blocked as are the coal fireplaces. On the sidewalks are rows of coal holes that are permanently sealed. Coal bins are turned into extra bedrooms.
Today we had 2 rides - first in a red hybrid double decker bus - later followed by a ride in an old black diesel fueled cab. It is like history passing before your eyes.
The new cabs cost 55,000 pounds. They are supposed to have a useful life of 40 years - going round the clock.
I talked to a driver of the new cab - and he said he loves it. He has much more room in the front for his 12 hour shifts. It is much quieter and vibration free. The steering is still very tight and quick. He said the engine has not been on in 2 weeks. When he stops for lunch he plugs it in - he gets almost a full charge for the rest fo his shift. Only when he takes a long sprint does he have to use the gasoline engine.
We will be taking a ride in one and I will do a video of all the features. Maybe we can bring one home.