New electric taxi ready for London streets

London in the United Kingdom, for being as large and old of a city as it is, looks to be very cutting edge when it comes to sustainability.

One of these areas is in transportation, and now a new initiative to produce a UK-built, electric powered Metrocab that will service the throngs of people each day who get around in a taxi is getting ready for trials.

The range-extended electric Metrocab, from UK-based Ecotive and its technology partner Frazer-Nash Research, is set to launch as a trial fleet on the streets of London early in 2014. It is powered by a lithium-ion polymer battery pack with an electric motor to each of the rear wheels, and reportedly has a range per charge of at least 75 miles.

image via Frazer-Nash

As part of a special preview of what this electric taxi is capable of doing, London mayor Boris Johnson get his own private first look at one of the cabs. He even opted to take it for a short drive, noting that “Ecotive, with technical expertise from Frazer-Nash, have designed a unique and purpose-built new Metrocab taxi for Londonwith zero-emissions capabilities, which is exactly the type of vehicle I would be delighted to see entering the market.”

Following the trial early next year, the Metrocab will be rolled out in London and to other key cities around the world. In some markets it may find itself in a bit of an uphill climb, given that BYD Motors has a strong foothold many places with its own electric taxi offering.

* Nino Marchetti, EarthTechling