British engineering company Frazer-Nash has today confirmed full specifications for its new hybrid taxi for London, the Metrocab.
Joining a growing list of vehicles vying to be the default choice for the capital's cabbies – including the recently unveiled Nissan NV200 – the Metrocab is hoping to appeal to their wallets with its frugal hybrid drivetrain, with range-extending technology for increased battery only, zero-emissions running.
The Metrocab is fitted with a 1-litre petrol combustion engine, which is used solely in conjunction with an on-board generator to both charge the lithium-ion battery pack and provide power to the electric motor that drives the wheels.
Frazer-Nash claims that this setup will save the average taxi driver between £30-£40 per day in reduced fuel costs, with a projected combined fuel economy figure of over 75mpg – some three times better than a current London black cab.
The Metrocab is also set to be far less polluting, with a claimed 75 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions, thanks to its electric-only driving range. While the exact figure is yet to be confirmed, emissions of less than 50g/km CO2 are expected.
Able to transport up to seven passengers (six in the rear, one in the front), the Metrocab comes with all the creature comforts you don't get in a current black cab, including a USB charging socket, colour television, panoramic glass roof and mood lighting.
To ensure it meets London Public Carriage regulations, it also features full wheelchair access and has a turning circle tight enough to negotiate the infamously tight roundabout at the entrance to the Savoy hotel – a standard that all London taxis must meet.
The Metrocab is currently undergoing real-world trials, with taxi drivers being invited to register their interest.
Metrocab Chairman, Sir Charles Masefield, said: "The all-new Range Extended Electric Metrocab has been in development since the mid-2000s with several prototypes built and over a million kilometres of engineering tests completed.
"Instantly recognisable as an iconic London Hackney Cab, with a panoramic glass roof for views of the city, our new all-British London cab offers, for no price premium, completely new levels of economy, emissions and passenger comfort and is ready to enter service this year, benefitting the passenger, driver, city and environment alike."