London’s black cabs to go electric from 2018
Days after new Mayor of London Sadiq Khan pledged to clean up the air pollution problems faced by the Capital, the Chinese owner of the London Taxi Company has announced a $400m (£272m) investment to ensure the fleet of black cabs is fully electrified.
The $400m investment fund was raised by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Company, the owner of London’s official black cab fleet, through a green bond sale. The company has since said that it will use the funds to invest in the development of a hybrid battery-powered fleet. The new model will be called the TX5 and will be based, in terms of its look, on the iconic 1958 FX4.
According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, green bonds are becoming increasingly popular, with the around $56bn (£38bn) expected to be raised through them in 2016, easily beating the previous year’s record of $46bn (£31bn).
The green bonds issued by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Company were reportedly almost six times oversubscribed, and the Chinese company does not plan to issue anymore shortly.
Work will begin on the new TX5 models in June 2016, with a proposed launch date of 1 January 2018 — the date upon which it will become law for all taxis to be zero-emission capable.