When most car enthusiasts hear the name Frazer-Nash, they tend to think of the early 20th Century cars that are still highly regarded in the classic car world of today. What people tend not to think of, is taxis. They may be surprised to learn that Frazer-Nash, based at Mytchett in leafy Surrey, is still going strong but rather than as an all out car maker like it once was, it is instead an automotive engineering firm focussed on digital electric and hybrid-electric powertrains.
UK based Ecotive and technology partner Frazer-Nash Research teamed together to produce the Metrocab. A hybrid driven taxi cab reinvented for London with the good ol’ shape we’re so familiar with, only modernised a bit. We don’t think it’s a particularly good looking vehicle, but then that’s not the point of a taxi as they should be function over form. The new taxi for London will first hit the streets with a trial fleet in early 2014.
Featuring a tourist friendly glass roof which will be excellent for seeing the sights and a large comfortable cabin, the Metrocab looks suitably modernised for the future of taxis in London. Outside, there’s the signature square grill and round lights making it instantly recognisable as a ‘cabbie’ though we feel it would pull this off better had it been painted in black.
Stated in a letter from Boris Johnson, published in the Telegraph newspaper on 29 October 2013, the Mayor of London said:
“Ecotive, with technical expertise from Frazer-Nash, has designed a unique and purpose-built new Metrocab taxi for London with zero emissions capabilities, which is exactly the type of vehicle I would be delighted to see entering the market.”
Metrocab Chairman Sir Charles Masefield said:
“The Metrocab is designed as the next-generation London taxi and represents a revolution in the market as the first electric-powered cab to meet the duty cycle of a London taxi, where cabbies typically drive many miles from outside the city – making pure electric cars impractical with current technology and infrastructure. Ready now, our range extended drivetrain technology offers the solution London and other world-class cities are looking for. We are confident Metrocab will make a real impact in the market and provide a better service to cities, drivers and passengers alike.”
The Metrocab is powered by a lithium-ion polymer battery pack with an electric motor to each of the rear wheels coupled with a highly-efficient internal combustion engine (ICE).
Photo & video source; Metrocab & Frazer-Nash