Frazer-Nash Research Ltd and Ecotive Ltd, the makers of the all-new Metrocab – the only zero-emissions capable black cab currently operating in London - announced that the Metrocab for the UK will enter volume production next year, as part of a new partnership with manufacturing specialist, Multimatic.
Multimatic is a global corporation headquartered in Markham, Ontario, Canada. It mostly manufactures high volume automotive mechanisms, structures and suspension components, as well as the design and development of automotive body and chassis systems.
Multimatic also manufactures complete cars for low volume programs such as Aston Martin's One-77, Zagato and GT12, the Lagonda Taraf and Ford GT. Multimatic has a well-established manufacturing facility in Coventry, which is now undergoing a programme of expansion to accommodate the start of Metrocab production next year.
Metrocab chairman, Sir Charles Masefield, said: "This announcement marks another important step in bringing the all-new electric powered Metrocab to volume production. Our prototype fleet is already operating very successfully in London, proving that our Range Extended Electric taxis are the solution to delivering on the City's Ultra Low Emission Zones promises from 2018. Next year we will enter volume production with the hugely respected and experienced Multimatic. We are delighted to be working with such an established partner to fulfil our ambitions following our significant investment in developing this product and to bring further skilled jobs to the UK."
Multimatic Vice President, Larry Holt added: "We have been following closely the development of zero-emissions capable taxis in the UK, and have worked with Metrocab for a number of years to bring their prototype fleet to the market. We are all delighted with the performance and operational results of this first fleet, and it is very satisfying to now commit to enter series production of the all-new Metrocab. The taxi has clearly been designed and engineered from the ground up with the global market in mind, and Multimatic has the facilities and capabilities to make this a truly international product – a prospect which really excites us."
The Metrocab is available now on the streets of London as a small trial fleet operated by Comcab, and is the first zero-emission-capable taxi to be licensed by Transport for London to operate on a trial basis as a London Hackney Carriage.
The taxi is driven by two electric motors, with a 1-litre petrol engine range extender coupled with an optimised generator to recharge the battery pack, which takes as little as 10 minutes while driving. Charging is also available via any mains electric outlet providing even lower fuel consumption.
Developed by Surrey-based Frazer-Nash Research, this powertrain system offers ultra-low emissions and a zero emissions mode, improved air quality, reduced noise pollution, and economic benefits including tax incentives and grants.
Metrocab key features:
• 98 MPG on the ECE101 Cycle and over three times more fuel efficient than comparable current London taxi.
• 75% less CO2 than comparable current London taxi.
• New Metrocab <65g/km CO2.
• 560km combined range.
• Significantly lower running costs, typically saving a London cabbie £20 – 40 per day.
• Zero-emissions mode and home charging via standard mains outlet.
• 10 years in development and over a million powertrain test kilometres.
• Six passenger seats (plus optional seventh passenger seat in the front).
• Designed to comply with London Taxi Private Hire (LTPH) regulations.