London is staring up a pilot test of its electric black cabs (via Engadget), otherwise known as the TX5, after first revealing the vehicles back in 2015. The cars have 70 miles of pure EV range on their built-in battery pack, but can also go up to 400 miles using the onboard gas engine to generate the power for the battery and motor.
The vehicles meet the conditions for London’s forthcoming requirement that all new taxis on roads be technically “zero emission capable” as of the start of January, 2018. The taxis also feature a number of onboard convenience features and other tech add-ons, including built-in Wi-Fi, USB chargers, a panoramic roof and six seats, plus contactless terminals for accepting tap cards and mobile payments.
This is still a car that will probably spend a lot of time guzzling gas, considering its range and the amount of travel that drivers normally do during a day in the city. But it’s a far greener alternative compared to what’s used now, and it has the potential to get better over time.