Published on January 13th, 2020 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Geely Takes On The Japanese Taxi Market
Geely’s full electric “TX Black Cab” takes on the “Toyota Black Cab” in Tokyo
The ‘London Black Cab’ is about to become a familiar sight in Japan with the launch of the TX Black Cab in Japan. The London Taxi Company which was a division of a company called ‘Manganese Bronze’ until 2013 was bought up then by Geely for £11 million. Before that, Geely held a 20% stake in the firm before it collapsed in October the same year and the management of Manganese stalled after recalling 500 TX4 black cabs over a steering box fault amid mounting losses at the group.
Geely immediately pledged to retain the group’s 107 staff and manufacturing site in Coventry, England which was welcomed by the then mayor of London, Boris Johnson who is now the Prime Minister.
In March 2015, Geely management announced a massive £250 million investment to build a new state-of the-art research, development and assembly facility for the London Electric Vehicle Company as the group prepares for the introduction of the next generation electric and ultra-low emission London Black Cab.
The investment included the construction of a new purpose-built facility in the Ansty area of Coventry, close to the London Electric Vehicle Company’s existing factory.
Then in October 2019, during the World Chinese Business Conference held in the UK, Gao Yunlong, Vice Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Council and Chairman of China’s National Federation of Industry and Commerce led a delegation to visit Coventry.
The delegation witnessed the production of the 3,000th electric TX in London Electric Vehicle Company’s (LEVC) Ansty plant (pictured above) and attended an exhibition consisting of famed Lotus models including their newest pure electric supercar, Evija. Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (Geely Holding) Chairman Li Shufu attended the World Chinese Business Conference and accompanied the delegation to Coventry.
Press Release: A London icon is about to become a familiar sight in Japan, as London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) launches its electric TX model at an exclusive event in Tokyo yesterday.
The original London taxi, now totally redesigned for the 21st Century, is a purpose-built high-quality model suitable for both the taxi and premium shuttle markets, with ample space for six passengers, wheelchair access and renowned eCity technology.
The TX combines more than 130 km of zero-emissions pure electric range with the flexibility of a total electrically driven range of 600km – made possible thanks to the on-board range-extender. The class leading 8.45m turning circle allows drivers to negotiate tight spaces and narrow city streets with unparalleled manoeuvrability.
Premium and accessible, the electric TX will bring a whole new experience to Japanese passengers, not just meeting local regulations but far exceeding them, boasting a panoramic roof, charging points for mobile phones and laptops, alongside unrivalled cabin space.
It’s this unique combination of features that LEVC believes will be so appealing to operators of taxi and premium shuttle fleets in cities across Japan. The TX is expected to empower fleet operators, cities and e-mobility service providers to take a new approach.
Japan’s taxi industry has 240,000 vehicles in operation with 50,000 based in Tokyo as well as a growing number of on-demand passenger shuttle and ride sharing services in major cities. Thanks to its combination of greater space, agile manoeuvrability and far better wheelchair access, not to mention its iconic status as the original London cab, LEVC expects TX taxi and shuttle to be bought by operators who would otherwise use large premium saloons and minivans.
Joerg Hofmann, LEVC’s CEO commented:
“We are delighted to further grow our international footprint of green mobility solutions with the launch of the TX in Japan. We are reinventing a British icon, transforming the company from a traditional taxi manufacturer to a green mobility company, producing a wider range of electric commercial vehicles. The electric TX will set new standards across Japan in the taxi and premium shuttle market, delighting passengers, drivers and fleet operators alike. We are looking forward to seeing TX on the streets of Tokyo and across cities throughout Japan.”
Fleetway and Service Company, based in Yokohama, has been selected as the official importer and retailer of LEVC models. Order books open in February and first customer deliveries begin in Q2 2020.
Since its launch in early 2018, over 3,800 TXs have been sold worldwide. The UK remains the biggest market, but LEVC’s expansion into new export markets continues at pace. The Japanese launch of the TX builds on existing sales in overseas territories such as Germany, France, Switzerland, Denmark and the Middle East.
LEVC’s range will grow further in 2020 with the launch of a new electric van, based on the TX Taxi and sharing the same eCity technology.
By 2022, LEVC expects that 60 percent of the vehicles built at its Coventry factory will be for export while the remaining 40 percent will service the UK. By 2024, the company aims to have fleets of TXs and electric vans operating in major cities around the world.