London Black Cabs become Geely electric brand in the UK

London Black Cabs become Geely electric brand in the UK

The London Electric Vehicle Company – now owned by Chinese giant Geely – could have a full range of electric vehicles on the road within five years.

The company responsible for the electrification of London’s classic “black cab” taxi fleet – Chinese car giant Geely – is preparing a major overhaul of the iconic vehicles.

The Chinese electric vehicle specialist intends to develop the London Electric Vehicle Company into a high-volume, all-electric brand with a range of commercial and passenger vehicles.

LEVC chief executive Chris Allen told the news outlet Reuters at the company’s headquarters in Coventry, UK, that a full range of electric vehicles could be on the road within five years, without going into detail.

“This is about making (London Electric Cabs) a much better known brand around the world and expanding our product offering into as many areas as possible,” said Mr. Allen.

“There’s nothing we can’t deliver in a very short time if required, but it’s just a matter of timing.”

Geely, which owns the London Electric Cab company – along with Polestar, Volvo, Lotus, Zeekr, Lynk & Co and Smart – intends to make a big investment in the plan but has yet to reveal the extent of its spending.

It has previously invested £500 million (AU$880 million) in LEDV after taking control of the company in 2013.

“Geely fully supports the new transition strategy designed by LEVC’s board and leadership team,” Geely said in a statement.

Mr Allen said the London Electric Cab company is exploring a range of commercial and passenger car models on a common electric platform and would be able to draw on the expertise of other Geely businesses to “move forward with speed and agility”.

The London electric taxi company is currently building 3000 electric taxis a year – at prices £66,000 (AU$116,000) with a battery-electric range of 103 kilometers – and said its production could easily be increased to 20,000 vehicles, with more room for expansion on site.

“There is tremendous value in our product that has never really been maximized,” said Mr. Allen.

“But will the industry be ready in two years, will the charging infrastructure be there, will consumer confidence be there?”

Paul Gover

Paul Gover has been a motoring journalist for more than 40 years and has worked for newspapers, magazines, websites, radio and television. A qualified general news journalist and sports reporter, his passion for driving has taken him to Wheels, Motor, Car Australia, Which Car and Auto Action magazines. He is a champion racer as well as a World Car of the Year judge.

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