LEVC - TX taxi/TX Shuttle Price: POA
Last Updated On: 20/02/2021
The TX taxi is the latest in a long line of the iconic black cabs made in this country and a game-changing successor to the previous diesel-powered TX4 Reliable, versatile and handled by only the most knowledgeable drivers, black cabs have long been recognised as the world’s finest taxis - and now the new TX is the very first which can drive purely on electric power.
With a 317 total miles range and 63 miles pure EV range, the new LEVC TX complies with the recently introduced zero-emissions only regulations for taxis in London. requiring a minimum 30-mile pure EV range, sub-50g/km CO2 emissions.
As with its predecessor, the TX shares that famous 8.5-metre turning circle, which is another strictly adhered to London taxi regulation, although the new TX is higher and longer than the TX4. The large slab sides hint at both the far more spacious interior, for both driver and passengers, and the enhanced safety features.
In the front, the seating position is unusually elevated, sitting higher and more upright than virtually any SUV you’ll find on the market. That’s in part because the whole interior is raised due to the 330kg, 31kWh battery that runs under the floor of the interior cabin, and which gives the TX the capability to run 63 miles on pure electric power.
The rear wheels are always driven by the electric Drive Motor, and the motor in turn is powered by a 31kWh Drive Battery. Running only on electric power on a typical driving pattern, both the TX taxi and its sibling van, the VN5, have a pure electric range equivalent to many of today’s BEVs. But, in addition, they come equipped with a small petrol generator - commonly known as a Range-Extender - whose only function is to trickle-charge the battery to maintain its current state of charge. This provides substantial additional range, but the TX can also be charged from a conventional roadside charging point.
First-in-sector, the exterior body panels of all LEVC products are made from a tough SMC material which is lighter, flexible and more resilient to light dents and knocks. They are also, unlike competitors made from conventional steel, built upon an anodised aluminium monocoque, bonded together using a remarkably hard hot cure adhesive. Around 30% lighter than an equivalent steel structure, this delivers a crucial saving, especially in an electric vehicle, where most of the weight comes from the batteries. Unlike steel, aluminium does not rust, and all 400+ aluminium components are anodised to further increase corrosion resistance. Longevity of product was always an LEVC target.
The seating position also helps give a commanding visibility of the road ahead. Comfort and controls for the driver are a huge leap forward from the old diesel cab, The new seating has almost armchair comfort, only right and proper when the driver spends such a long, continuous time at the wheel, and always a major complaint in the previous model. Apart from the advantage of mostly silent running, the new ground-up chassis technology results in a driver and passenger ride comfort vastly improved from its predecessor the TX4.
Many of the controls are derived from fellow Geely brand Volvo, which is undoubtedly a positive thing. There’s a digital dashboard that’s easy to programme, and a big touchscreen display that accesses functions such as the sat-nav (this car will be sold in overseas markets, where cab drivers don't have to do The Knowledge), car information screen and infotainment. Entertainment options include USB ports, smartphone connectivity and a DAB radio.
A spacious rear compartment is separated by a purpose-built protection screen, which keeps up to six passengers and the driver socially distanced. Contactless payment capability and a two-way intercom all combine to create a safe and comfortable journey. In addition, a large, clear skylight roof gives the passenger compartment an airy atmosphere and allows great views of the city's taller buildings and iconic landmarks. An quickly deployable, full-width ramp allows for easy wheelchair access.
LEVC has also launched a non-licensed taxi version of the TX called the Shuttle, which has been designed as a low-impact, practical and cost-effective urban transport solution, principally for commercial use. (Images 7 and 8)