The Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (commonly referred to as Geely) now owns many car companies, including Proton, but did you know that it also owns a company in England that originally produced the famous Black Cabs. Known today as the London EV Company Limited (LEVC), it was acquired in 2013 and has focussed on developing electrically-powered commercial vehicles.
LEVC continues to produce taxis but they are environment-friendly vehicles now with zero emission electric powertrains. Due to their iconic background, the taxis are sometimes used for more than just ordinary transport and are purchased for more personalised use. One company which specialises in turning them into luxury models is luxury car specialist Clive Sutton.
Customisation for VIP taxis
The company’s bespoke coachbuilding division has developed customisation options for VIP LEVC Taxis. These can be appointed like a private jet for the road, with separated driver and passenger compartments. Customers can opt for a long list of luxury fittings from leather-clad, electronically-reclining heated rear seats with footrests, to a fibreoptic starlight roof, or electronic self-closing doors. Other features include built-in umbrella holders and a high-quality audio system.
Multiple seating configurations
The Sutton Bespoke team has created multiple configurations in which the taxi can be ordered. Customers can choose from a 4, 3, or even an ultra-spacious 2-seat set-up with a drinks fridge, on-board WiFi and Bluetooth as standard. Privacy can be upgraded as part of an optional exterior package that includes smoke-tinted rear windows, while a PlayStation or Xbox can be added for those with younger ones. The console is connected to a 20-inch media screen that is incorporated within a leather-clad divider, which separates the front and rear compartments.
“While many of our clients seek power, performance and stand-out style, another portion prefer discreet, unique, customisable luxury. Our Sutton VIP LEVC Taxi enables the most comfortable, spacious and private journey through the city with extravagant features usually reserved for superyachts and private jets,” said Clive Sutton, Founder and CEO of the company.
The LEVC TX Taxi uses the company’s ECity technology and is powered by an electric motor which drives the rear wheels. The motor is powered by a 31 kWh Drive Battery supported by a range-extender. This is an on-board generator (a small 1.5 litre petrol engine) that recharges the battery when required, and provides greater usability and flexibility than pure electric operation.
Running only on electric power on a typical driving pattern, the TX has a pure electric range equivalent to many of today’s BEVs (Battery Electric Vehicles). To further maximise the range offered by driving on electrical power, there is also regenerative coasting and braking. The braking system harnesses energy that would usually be lost while slowing down, and uses it to recharge the drive battery. This increases efficiency and reduces wear on braking components.