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>> You could see very clearly this is a London black cab. However, everything is new, it's all aluminium body, it has an electric engine with a range extender. Interior much, much improved for both the cabbie and the passengers. But most importantly, it's bringing clean air to London.>> A new age revamp for an old British icon.
London's black cab has gone electric and its just hit the roads. If you happen to flag one down, you won't be looking at a higher fare than in one of its diesel predecessors. And you get the satisfaction of going green at no cost to comfort. The six seat cab also introducing new features such as Wi-Fi, USB charging, and even a sun roof.
>> It's a different world really from what we're used to. When I think back, I've been driving a cab nearly ten years, it's not a step up, it's 1,000 steps up. It's absolutely effortless to drive, all you can hear really is the tires on the tarmac, and sometimes the wind.
>> Any tempted cabbie would be looking at 55,000 pounds or around $74,000 for a new set of wheels. But manufacturer LEVC, Chris Gubby, says it will also save them.>> Apart from what it's doing for the city, this is also a very compelling business case. The average cabbie's gonna save around 100 pound a week in fuel costs.
>> LEVC hasn't stopped at London, they already plan to roll out 225 vehicles in Amsterdam, as part of a transport service for the elderly and disabled. For now though, the new cab is already breathing fresh air into the big smoke. And just in time, in just a few weeks London will see rules requiring new taxis to be either hybrid or fully emission-free.
More than 9,000 electric taxis are expected on the capitol's roads by 2021, roughly half the current fleet of black cabs.