New London taxis are about to appear on streets near you sooner than you might think. British built Metrocabs have begun driver testing in London with their new E-REV, an electric vehicle with range extending petrol engine.

Frazer-Nash and Ecotive, the companies behind the new Metrocab, have released key technical details ahead of the trials such as the expected fuel consumption, practicality, dimensions and other core elements which will interest taxi drivers considering the new car.

Metrocab Chairman Sir Charles Masefield said:

“The all-new Range Extended Electric Metrocab has been in development since the mid-2000s with several prototypes built and over a million kilometres of engineering tests completed.  Instantly recognisable as an iconic London Hackney Cab, with a panoramic glass roof for views of the city, our new all-British London cab offers, for no price premium, completely new levels of economy, emissions and passenger comfort and is ready to enter service this year, benefiting the passenger, driver, city and environment alike.”

 

Metrocab E-REV London Taxi

This week, Metrocab are launching London taxi driver trials, aimed at showing how the new zero-emissions (when not using the range extender) is able to save money, help the environment and be easy to maintain as well as enhance both the passenger and drivers ride.

Metrocab’s price is yet to be announced, but they assure us it is competitive in the taxi market. The Metrocab features two electric motors, one per rear wheel and power is supplied by a Lithium-ion battery pack that may be recharged at home using conventional plug-in methods. Furthermore, the range-extending petrol engine is at the front of the vehicle and tops up the battery when required – much like how other E-REV vehicles work, such as the popular Chevrolet Volt and Vauxhall Ampera.

The Metrocab from Ecotive and Frazer-Nash is the latest in a long line of electric powered transport solutions they have marketed and developed over the last 25 years with world-class highly efficient, optimised and fully-integrated digital-electric and hybrid-electric powertrains.

Once the initial trials have completed this year, Metrocab plans to be rolled out across London and other key UK cities plus possibly internationally if there is demand.

It has to be asked, why is it so massive? With a wheelbase approaching that of a luxury car such as an Audi A8 or BMW 7 series, the new Metrocab looks like it’s the come out of the Hummer factory rather than being a svelte little British number. It seems that part of the answer lies in it’s excellent ability to cope with disabled passengers who’ll be able to either clamp down their wheelchair in the back for those more effervescent of journey’s, or twist and swivel to their hearts content while peering up through the panoramic roof of the new Metrocab.

Not only does the Metrocab provide ample seating for many occupants with the inclusion of fold down seats, it also provides ample storage space in the boot – please refer to the video at around 3.11 in for an amusing demonstration of boot capacity.

Going back to the size issue though, the Metrocab does seem as though it has been designed with a larger person in mind. Controls appear hefty, almost bus like, with the gear knob being of similar design with a wheel to that you might find in a Jaguar or Land Rover, but this time it’s twice the size. It will be interesting to hear the thoughts of drivers after the real world testing is over.

On that note, drivers can register their interest to participate in the trials here: www.newmetrocab.com/trial

What do you think of the new Metrocab? We welcome your thoughts in the comments at the end of this article.

GENERAL

  • Range extended electric vehicle
  • Fully compliant with London Public Carriage Office (PCO) regulations
  • Capable of zero emission operation
  • Vehicle health diagnostics and status telemetry system

VEHICLE DIMENSIONS

  • Overall length:………………………….. 4,905mm
  • Overall width:…………………………… 1,800mm
  • Overall height:………………………….. 1,925mm
  • Wheel base:………………………………3,181mm

VEHICLE WEIGHT

  • Kerb:………………………………………….. 1,750kg
  • Gross:………………………………………… 2,515kg

PERFORMANCE

  • Top speed:…………………………………. 80mph (Restricted)
  • Max gradient:…………………………….. 1:3
  • Emissions:…………………………………..<50 g/km CO2
  • Turning circle: …………………………….. 7.62m (Meets PCO requirement)
  • Regenerative braking

DRIVELINE

  • Peak motor power:…………………… 2 x 50kW
  • Peak wheel torque:…………………… 2 x 1,400Nm

RANGE EXTENDER

  • 1 litre petrol range-extender engine coupled to generator unit
  • Fuel efficient urban and highway generating modes
  • Meets Euro 5 emission standards

BATTERY SYSTEM

  • Lithium-ion polymer large format cells
  • Stored capacity:…………………………. 12.2kWh
  • 3kW on board charging

COMFORT

  • Driver multi-function touch screen display and instrument cluster with colour display
  • Passenger colour TV display
  • USB charging socket
  • Digital infotainment system
  • Hands free telephone
  • Air conditioning and heating
  • Anti-lock braking system (ABS)
  • 3-seater rear bench seat – fore/aft adjustable for more luggage space when required
  • 3 rear facing flip down seats
  • 1 optional front passenger seat
  • Full wheelchair access with integrated wheelchair ramp
  • Panoramic glass roof
  • Mood Lighting
  • Air suspension

To view Boris Johnson’s reaction to the first unveiling of the Metrocab, you can read the article here. For further reading, you may be interested in seeing what Nissan have in store for London’s black cabs here.

Source; Metrocab

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