The end of the 2017 will see the launch of a radical new interpretation of the iconic London taxi. Little has changed in recent decades, but the new car will boast an all-electric drivetrain and range-extending motor – a far cry from the current model complete with ‘distinctive’ diesel soundtrack.
And to prove that the 21st century workhorse has the stamina to pound London’s streets, its maker, the London Taxi Company, has been testing the vehicle where all the car makers go: the Arctic Circle.
The Arctic Circle in Norway is the ideal location to stretch a car’s systems to their limits. And is especially relevant when you need to ensure the highest levels of quality, reliability and usability for demanding taxi usage cycles. Testing the vehicle in a real life environment of -15°C helps ensure that the battery and range of the vehicle are not disproportionately affected by cold weather.
However, extreme cold weather testing also serves to check the quality of the driver and passenger experience in cold weather. This means checking that cab heating and ventilation continue to perform to the highest standards. The driving experience is also checked – so the impact of grip, driveability and visibility are also measured. Engineers can then make adjustments to ensure that drivers have the best drive regardless of the conditions. The taxi will also undergo similar endurance testing in extreme heat environments before it is deemed ready for sale at the end of the year.
Commenting on the programme, quality director Wolfram Liedtke said: “Our new taxi is being developed with two key engineering principles – quality and endurance to meet the needs of the demanding taxi duty cycle. We are now nearing the end of our development programme, and will soon commit the product to series production at our all-new manufacturing facility in Ansty, near Coventry.
“We understand drivers will want to be sure that our range extended electric vehicle technology works in all conditions which is why we’ve gone to such efforts to test in these extreme environments. It will be, without doubt, the highest quality and resilient product in London Taxi’s history.”
Source: London Taxi Company