Greentomatocars, London’s second largest minicab firm, has signed a deal with Chinese carmaker BYD to rollout all-electric taxis in the capital.
BYD will supply 50 of its all-electric e6 models to the minicab firm to add to its fleet of 300 vehicles. Greentomatocars says the electric minicabs will on the road for customers to hire from the second quarter of 2013.
“We are very pleased to be working with BYD on this project,” says greentomatocars’ managing director Jonny Goldstone. “As a partner company, BYD has shown great leadership to challenge the status quo, innovate and electrify mass transport – principles which go to the very heart of greentomatocars.”
The five-seat e6, which runs on a 75 kW electric motor and BYD’s own iron phosphate battery, has a range of up to 186 miles on a single charge and a top speed of 87 mph.
The all-electric vehicle is already in use as a taxi in the Chinese city of Shenzhen and elsewhere, totting up a total of more than 14 million miles.
Goldstone says he hopes that greentomatocars’ initiative will boost the popularity of electric vehicles into the mainstream and “do a Prius” with the e6.
“As a car, we see strong parallels between the e6 of today and the then-unfashionable Toyota Prius of 2006,” he says. “It’s exciting to think that, even as a five-car start-up, we played a major role in making the Prius popular.”
Mayor of London Boris Johnson welcomed the announcement as “encouraging”.
“It is my aim that London's minicabs and taxis will be zero-emission by 2020,” he said. “Every year the fleet is getting cleaner, making our city an even more attractive place to live, work and visit.”
For further information:
E-Car Club signs up Nissan LEAFs for hire in Milton Keynes (11-Oct)
Nissan unveils new fuel efficient London taxi (7-Aug)
Chinese city of Shenzhen expands electric bus and taxi fleet by 1500 (28-Feb)
BYD to start selling electric cars to Chinese drivers (2-Nov 2011)
25 October 2012