London taxi company lead the way in ultra low emission black cabs

The London Taxi Company (LTC), the UK’s famous black cab firm has started work on a new £250 million factory in Coventry. A ceremony to commemorate the beginning of construction work on the brand new state of the art research development and assembly facility was held at Ansty Park. The new factory is being labelled the birth place of the next generation of ultra low emission black cabs.

The new facility is the first greenfield development of any Chinese automotive manufacturer in the UK, demonstrating parent company Geely’s ongoing commitment to the country and West Midlands region. The investment will create up to 1000 direct jobs, and support a further 500 roles in the local supply chain enabling it to have the capacity to assemble up to 36,000 vehicles a year.

The investment sends a clear message that the UK is a global centre for low emission vehicle manufacturing. This announcement follows the unveiling of London Mayor Boris Johnson’s vision for the London to be the ultra-low emissions vehicle capital of Europe and is a further example of UK public transport gearing up in the race to beat low emission targets.

The Advanced Propulsion Centre has already invested grant funding in consortia who aim to make significant emission savings in public transport vehicles. The GKN Hybrid Power system project is used to regenerate braking energy on city buses with a high speed flywheel originally developed for Le Mans Prototypes using KERS technology. Another example of this is recent APC3 competition winners Wrightbus. An investment worth £8.6 million was announced in the latest APC grant funding competition for Northern Ireland based Wrightbus and its partners. The consortia are generating a new generation of electric and hybrid buses.

The continued investment in the UK automotive industry demonstrates that the UK is an attractive place to do business and helps the UK become a thriving Propulsion Nation. To date, the APC has invested in 10 major low carbon propulsion projects worth more than £174 million which will secure or create more than 4,500 jobs in the UK and reduce CO2 emissions by more than 12 million tonnes, equivalent to the CO2 emissions from 630,000 new cars, every year, for the next 12 years.

The fourth APC funding competition (APC4) offering collaborative consortia the opportunity to have access to APC resources closed on 1st July 2015 and the results will be announced in Autumn 2015.