London is set to get its first fleet of all-electric minicabs following the signing of an agreement between Chinese car manufacturer BYD and minicab firm greentomatocars.
The memorandum of understanding between the two companies should see 50 electric BYD e6 vehicles on the capital’s streets from the second quarter of 2013.
BYD is the fastest-growing Chinese car manufacturer that is pioneering hybrid and electric vehicles. Its five-seat e6 vehicle features a 75kW motor and the firm’s own iron phosphate battery, which gives the car a range of up to 186 miles on a single charge in urban conditions with a top speed of 87mph. The battery can be fully charged and discharged for more than 4,000 cycles.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson wants all London's minicabs and taxis to be zero-emission by 2020. “Every year the fleet is getting cleaner, making our city an even more attractive place to live, work and visit. Encouraging many more electric vehicles is a key part of this transformation, so it is great news that greentomatocars has committed to operating 50 of these super clean machines from next year,” he said.
Jonny Goldstone, managing director of greentomatocars said: “We are very pleased to be working with BYD on this project. As a partner company, BYD has shown great leadership to challenge the status quo, innovate and electrify mass transport - principles which go to the very heart of greentomatocars. As a car, we see strong parallels between the e6 of today and the then-unfashionable Toyota Prius of 2006. It’s exciting to think that, even as a 5-car start up, we played a major role in making the Prius popular; given the scale, experience and high-tech infrastructure we now have at our disposal, we’d love to “do a Prius” with the e6, and help propel electric vehicles into the automotive mainstream - where they deserve and, for all our sakes, need to be.”
BYD has been supported in this deal by London and Partners, the Mayor’s official promotional organisation for London.
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