Geely: We’ll make an electric London cab

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geely tx4 Geely: Well make an electric London cab

Oddly, Paul Stowe, didnt tell us about this minor development (yet)

LONDON (Reuters) – Chinese carmaker Geely Automobile has been in talks over the possibility of converting London’s black cabs into electric-powered cars, the Financial Times reported on Monday.

The company, which co-owns black London taxi-maker Manganese Bronze, says it has held talks with UK government officials about the plan.

Chairman Li Shufu said he had discussed the idea of electric taxis with London mayor Boris Johnson at the Beijing Olympic Games in August.

“One of our ideas is to convert London taxis (to electric cars) … we are doing research on this project,” Li told the Financial Times in an interview.

Geely owns about 23 percent of Manganese Bronze and 51 percent of a Shanghai-based joint venture with the UK company that will produce the cars in China from December, the paper said.

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9 Comments

  • dragin
    October 21, 2008

    The best proving ground for electric taxis is in China not Britain. The market is new and can tolerate more of the learning-curve shortcomings.

  • KH
    October 21, 2008

    you’re right but they certainly hv this in mind I think. Then no harm adding numbers..more volume more feasible. Already see lots of electric bicycles & scooters (capable of 50kpm) used in Shantou region..many kids go to schools in them.

  • woxihuanpijiu
    October 22, 2008

    Part of the problem with testing them in China would be infrastructure to recharge the batteries. If they started small and built it into new areas of the city then it could work. Although the govt has spent heaps improving electricity supply it is far from perfect so that doesn’t help as well. Also they would need to maintain a dedicated maintenance and testing schedule as well to fix any major issues before they exported them. Any form of maintenance seems to be something of an alien concept in China…….heck, they look at you funny when you try to fix something yourself instead of calling someone to do it for you.
    Funny city rules as well don’t help much. Electric scooters and bicycles are banned in some cities. There are some electric buses around though but running off the cable systems.

  • KW
    October 26, 2008

    Comment made by Mr. woxihuapijiu (by the way, this means: “I like beer” in Chinese. I have no clue what beer has to do with EVs.)regarding China’s lacking re-charge stations is a very high level general comment. The whole world lacks charging stations, not just China. The bottleneck is the battery’s capability to be “rapid-charge-ready” – it’s not quite there yet. Second, the two-way mgmt system running the grid-vehicle integration. US is making great head ways in this area. We should see something sophisticated on grid-vehicle integration in 5 years. Finally, to build the ecosystem for EVs is a multi-party collaboration among utilities, auto makers, franchised station owners, gov’t policy makers, environmental agencies and also very importantly the advanced battery system providers.

    So-called maintenance for EV is drastically simpler than that for internal combustion engine vehicles. It’s largely battery maintenance, service and/or exchange. This is more a business model issue rather than technical stuff.

    China is a great testing ground for EVs due to all reasons all of you cited; China is well poised to build a service-based EV ecosystem due to the need to employ and educate its already quite enlightened workforce and the need (or face or pride) to be a responsible world citizen/leader.

    The fact that electric bikes and scooters are banned in few cities is caused by their poor quality hence resulting in unsafe use of these applications on the public road; it is NOT because these Light EVs are bad for the economy or have no demand. “Electric buses running off the cable systems” the “beer” person mentioned is city “trolley bus” that started in 1920′s. Nothing new. But real electric buses do exist in China, tho not in large volume. They are mostly running as prototypes with testing record over 350,000 km. They are not running off cables. These are real electric buses powered by lithium-ion batteries. The future success of all electric vehicles anywhere depends on 2 critical factors: the advanced battery technology via the robust battery management; and the well coordinated ecosystem I mentioned above.

  • woxihuanpijiu
    October 26, 2008

    Mr KW. Beer has a lot to do with EVs, especially taxis after a night on the suds and wanting to get home safely so you can watch the London Olympics the next day…..
    Electric bikes and scooters are also banned (as were motorcycles) to cut down on crime as well (bag snatchings mainly). Pollution was not the only major issue or else they would have banned them thoughout the whole of China and the worlds greenies would be trying to ban them everywhere. The unsafe ones you mention are exported worldwide incuding to major western countries with stricter emmisions rules than China itself, some even have CE certification.
    Mostly agree with your detailed version of my general comments but just a few things on my mind seeing nothing in China is free (well, some parks and most public loos are now)
    If the battery technology is not advanced enough yet then why should non EV drivers and the regular citizens (through increased home power bills) have to pay for upgrading the infrastructure now when there are not many suitable vehicles ready to utilise it? This is a valid question seeing most people already use public buses, many of which run on LPG.
    How do you get 5 different govt departments in China to work together to do something properly that doesnt take 7 years of planning?
    Where can I find a flux capacitor? I called Repco but the 16 year old who answered didn’t think they had any in stock.
    Although an EV motor is largely maintenance free the servicing that it does require is more expensive/difficult than that of an IC engine. To maintain a regular vehicle you need oil, filters and MAYBE some engine work done but in general it won’t be that much (unless you thrash the #%&^ out of it). Other maintenance work like gearbox maintenance, cooling system, tyres, suspension, bulbs etc should be similar for both vehicles although an EV system would need a dedicated technician (for obvious reasons)so why does it need a business model just for servicing?
    Glad the see they have some EBs, much better than the old electric trolley #3 in Guangzhou. Do you know if its a public trial and which city/line number is it? Some bus watchers might be keen to ride them. What sort of range do they get currently? How long has the trial been going?
    Done ranting, going to finish my beer ;)

  • Ash
    October 26, 2008

    Dongfeng are making EV buses, as are Jinan Youngman.

    I forget who, but someone is working on a hydrogen one as well. Most new buses are now Euro 3 or better.

    I think EV bikes were banned in some cities because the riders are usually total loons, you can ride them without any training or license and they can easily hit 50kph or faster on downhills!
    .
    I met a man on a ’97 Harley today, it looked totally cool weaving in and out of traffic. I want one, badly.

  • woxihuanpijiu
    October 27, 2008

    I know a place in GZ if you want to build one out of parts (new parts). Might save a bit on import taxes :)

  • Antonio
    December 31, 2008

    vendo london taxi tx II año 2006 150.000km 22.000 euros.Me va fantastico pero me hace falta uno mas grande para el taxi trabajo en Malaga.España. mi telofono movil es 695 691 300

  • GH Briggs
    February 26, 2009

    I for one believe in an electric Taxi, BUT as an invester concerned about cost of development. I believe the electric engine cost should be born out of a new subsidery company so as to protect the parent company,giving new investers a chance of investing at the ground level in a new Industry. As far as recharging the Taxi is concerned, think about the Taxi ranks and all the cafe’s when the driver takes a brake, if the electric companies can provide a charging point.

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