The evolution of the London black taxi: Here are the futuristic concepts that led to the final design for the new electric cab

Rebecca Smith
Fancy a spin?
Fancy a spin? (Source: London Taxi Company)

Earlier this week, the London Taxi Company unveiled its first electric taxi (and announced it was renaming to the London Electric Vehicle Company or LEVC).

With the weight of the black cab's heritage on the designers' shoulders, revamping the vehicle was a pretty big challenge with some fairly set guidelines.

Revealed: The first in-depth look at London's new electric black cab

At the unveiling of the new electric cab on Tuesday, senior vice president of Geely design Peter Horbury said the brief was pretty strict - "it had to look like a London taxi".

The team assessed what elements made the classic black cab so recognisable, such as its strong roof line, deeming those essential for the new model.

But before it got to the finished, chosen design, naturally there was a flurry of concept work.

Here are some of the early designs and how the process unfolded:

(Click or tap on the images to see them in full screen)

And here's how the final version came out...

(Click or tap on the images to see them in full screen)

(All pictures: London Taxi Company)

New model the TX combines a small petrol generator with a battery and proven electric powertrain, giving drivers a range of over 70 miles on pure electric, and a combined range of over 400 miles. So a driver could take passengers from London to Edinburgh without needing to stop for fuel.

The recognisable rectangular grille and circular headlights have been included, with an inset chrome frame to the grille.

There's also a large touch screen for drivers, charging points for mobile phones, Wi-Fi, and space for six passengers.

A London trial for the new taxi starts in October, with passengers being given tablets on the go to fill in a questionnaire before they finish their journey.

The LEVC also announced a deal with Dutch firm RMC for its electric taxis to hit the streets of Amsterdam. Some 225 cabs will be exported as part of the deal.

Read more: Elon Musk has shared some very snazzy snaps of the first mass market Tesla

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