The all-new electric black cab from Geely's London Taxi Company (LTC) is undergoing the most comprehensive product quality programme in its 98-year history.
Part of its extreme testing programme, the new black cab is currently in the lower reaches of the Arctic Circle in Norway. The extreme cold climate testing has been developed to 'ensure the highest levels' of reliability and usability for taxi usage cycles before launch later this year.
LTC says testing the vehicle in a real life environment of -15°C helps ensure that the battery and range of the vehicle are not disproportionately affected by cold weather as well as checking the quality of the driver and passenger experience. This means checking that cab heating and ventilation continue to perform to the highest standards – no matter how bitter the temperature outside. The driving experience is also checked – so the impact of grip, drivability and visibility are also scrutinised.
Over the coming weeks, LTC will also be testing the cab even further in giant fridges which drop the temperature down to -49°C. These checks will seek to guarantee that the vehicle will always start, even after the coldest nights. The new range extended electric taxi will also undergo similar endurance testing in extreme heat environments before it is deemed ready for sale.
Wolfram Liedtke, LTC Quality Director said: “We understand drivers will want to be sure that our range extended electric vehicle technology works in all conditions which is why we’ve gone to such efforts to test in these extreme environments. It will be, without doubt, the highest quality and resilient product in London Taxi’s history.”
Steve McNamara, General Secretary at the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, also joined LTC for part of the testing. He added: “It was truly amazing to witness the new London black cab being tested in such an extreme climate and performing so well. This new clean modern 21st century vehicle will ensure that the world’s best cab drivers now have the best tool for the job."
London Taxi Company CEO Chris Gubbey added: “2017 is a momentous year for the London Taxi Company, and I am very proud to be leading the business at such an exciting time. Our brand new manufacturing facility in Ansty is now complete and will be officially opened later this month, and shortly after the all-new range extended electric taxi will enter series production. The first dedicated and zero-emissions-capable taxi in the world to enter series production.”
Images of the electric black cab's Arctic testing exploits have also been shown to the public in New York City on a Times Square billboard, to help demonstrate, said Gubbey, "...that our new zero-emissions-capable vehicle will be a taxi for London and the world over, capable and at home in any city.”
LTC is due to open its new facility on the 22nd March 2017 thanksto a £300 million-pound investment from parent company Geely. The new London Taxi goes on sale in the final quarter of 2017.