Paris is hoping the new cab will help it wage war on air pollution.
The new electric London taxi can now work on the busy streets of Paris, after the French regulators approved the high-tech Hackney Carriage for use in the city.
Manufactured in Coventry by the London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC), the TX eCity is marketed as “the world’s most advanced electric taxi”, and combines an electric motor with a small petrol engine ‘range extender’, which kicks in when the batteries run flat.
According to LEVC, this arrangement allows the eCity taxi to manage up to 377 miles before it needs refuelling and recharging – far more than the average London cabbie’s 120-mile day.
LEVC also says that the TX eCity offers far lower running costs than its conventionally fuelled predecessor, the TX4, with some drivers reporting savings of more than £100 a week.
As a result, the taxi has been popular both in London and abroad, with more than 600 examples already roaming the British capital, while Amsterdam, Berlin, Hamburg and Oslo all see the eCity on their streets.
But despite the Parisian authorities’ permission to launch the TX eCity in France and the country’s war on air pollution, which will see all pre-2005 diesels banned next year, the new taxi will not go on sale until the first half of next year because of negotiations with the importer.
In a statement, LEVC said the new taxis came at a “vital time” and would have “a significant impact on Paris’ 20,000 taxis.”
Chris Gubbey, CEO of the company, said: “Given the air pollution difficulties facing French cities, we are very much looking forward to giving both drivers and passengers new options in Paris following a very positive reception on the streets. This truly bolsters our European position and we look forward to serving the cities of France alongside those in Norway, the Netherlands and Germany.”
Claire Perry, Minister for Energy and Clean Growth, said: “The UK has led the world in cutting emissions whilst growing our economy - with clean growth driving incredible innovation and creating hundreds of thousands of high-quality jobs.
“Ten years on from the Climate Change Act, the first ever Green GB week is a time to build on our successes and explain the huge opportunities for business and young people of a cleaner economy. I’m delighted to see how many more businesses and organisations such as LEVC are seizing this multi-billion-pound opportunity to energize their communities to tackle the very serious threat of climate change.”