London Taxi Company (LTC) has announced the opening of the UK's first car plant dedicated solely to the production of range-extended electric vehicles in Coventry.
The new plant, which has the capacity to build more than 20,000 vehicles per year, will be where the first purpose-built, mass-market electric taxi, called the TX5, will be built.
LTC, a subsidiary of Chinese firm Geely, has invested more than £300m in the site and the next-generation London taxi, which will be produced at the plant and exported around the world.
The firm said the investment and expansion had created more than 1,000 new jobs, including 200 engineers and 30 apprenticeships.
The taxi vehicle is using Volvo Car electric powertrain system technologies and components, while still keeping its classic design.
Chris Gubbey, chief executive of the LTC, said:
Today marks the rebirth of the London Taxi Company. A company with a singular vision; to design and build dedicated urban commercial vehicles that can operate without emissions in cities around the world and bring down running costs for drivers.
The vehicles produced in Coventry will go through "the most stringent testing regime" in the firm's history, with each test vehicle covering nearly 500,000km and often in extreme conditions.
The first electric taxis to roll off the production line are set to go on sale in London in the final quarter of this year, before being sold internationally in early 2018.
LTC will hold onto its existing premises in Coventry as a paint shop once the production of the existing TX4 comes to an end in the summer.
Staff moved to the new plant earlier this month ahead of today's official opening.