Jan 16

Specs for range-extended London cab revealed

 

By Phillippe Crowe

Specifications for a retro-looking, but new-tech-underneath Range Extended Electric (REE) Metrocab taxi designed in and for the UK have been released.

 

Frazer-Nash and Ecotive, the companies behind this all-new purpose-built taxi said following the in-market trials this year, the Metrocab will be rolled out in London and other key cities in the UK and internationally.

London_Metrocab_REE_Rear-668

“The all-new Range Extended Electric Metrocab has been in development since the mid-2000s with several prototypes built and over a million kilometers of engineering tests completed,” said Metrocab Chairman Sir Charles Masefield. “Instantly recognizable as an iconic London Hackney Cab, with a panoramic glass roof for views of the city, our new all-British London cab offers, for no price premium, completely new levels of economy, emissions and passenger comfort and is ready to enter service this year, benefitting the passenger, driver, city and environment alike.”

London_Metrocab_REE_Int-668

Metrocab also said it launching a campaign this week inviting London taxi drivers to register with the company for real-world trials in the new zero emissions capable taxi.

London_Metrocab_REE_Plug-668

The Metrocab is powered by a 12.2 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion polymer battery pack with a 50 kilowatt electric motor for each of the rear wheels. Full specifications are as follows:

METROCAB REE TAXI

VEHICLE DIMENSIONS

Overall length:………………………….. 4,905mm

Overall width:…………………………… 1,800mm

Overall height:………………………….. 1,925mm

Wheel base:………………………………..3,181mm

VEHICLE WEIGHT

Kerb:………………………………………….. 1,750kg

Gross:………………………………………….. 2,515kg

PERFORMANCE

Top speed:…………………………………. 80mph (Restricted)

Max gradient:…………………………….. 1:3

Emissions:…………………………………..<50g/km CO2

Turning circle: …………………………….. 7.62m (Meets PCO requirement)

Regenerative braking

DRIVELINE

Peak motor power:…………………… 2 x 50kW

Peak wheel torque:…………………… 2 x 1,400Nm

RANGE EXTENDER

1 liter petrol range-extender engine coupled to generator unit

Fuel efficient urban and highway generating modes

Meets Euro 5 emission standards

BATTERY SYSTEM

Lithium-ion polymer large format cells

Stored capacity:…………………………. 12.2kWh

3kW on board charging

COMFORT

Driver multi-function touch screen display and instrument cluster with colour display

Passenger colour TV display

USB charging socket

Digital infotainment system

Hands free telephone

Air conditioning and heating

Anti-lock braking system (ABS)

3-seater rear bench seat – fore/aft adjustable for more luggage space when required

3 rear facing flip down seats

1 optional front passenger seat

Full wheelchair access with integrated wheelchair ramp

Panoramic glass roof

Mood Lighting

Air suspension

This entry was posted on Thursday, January 16th, 2014 at 5:55 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 32


  1. 1
    Dave G

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    Jan 16th, 2014 (6:16 am)

    What’s the all-electric range?

    Also, they say they use a 50 kilowatt electric motor for each of the rear wheels. Are these in-wheel motors? Protean Electric makes in-wheel motors, and they are a British company. Their motor specs are 54kW (continuous) @ 400 volts DC.
    http://www.proteanelectric.com/en/specifications/


  2. 2
    xiaowei1

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    Jan 16th, 2014 (6:30 am)

    the best thing about this is people will start driving electric by way of using taxies, and learn more about the virtues of such driving.


  3. 3
    Dave G

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    Jan 16th, 2014 (6:44 am)

    xiaowei1: the best thing about this is people will start driving electric by way of using taxies

    Excellent point. There’s a lot of discussion about getting “butts in seats” for plug-ins. This will increase butts in seats in a big way.

    Too bad the Volt has limited rear seat room. I see a lot of Prius taxis in Manhattan. If GM built the MPV5, that might be a great taxi.
    Volt-Crossover-3.jpg


  4. 4
    bobchr

     

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    Jan 16th, 2014 (7:57 am)

    Not just Pirius Taxis but Highlander Hybrids, C-max Energi, Nissan Altima Hybrids, Ford Escape hybrids and Camry hybrids. The usual Fords are getting kinda scarce. The only place I’ve seen the Volt is NYC parks Department and NYPD and that may have been traffic NYPD. This is why aI suggested in a previous post far far away that some industrious company might look into buying used Volts and doing some coach work like stretching it 6″ to 1′ to improve rear seating. They could also raise the roof about 4 inches since taxis are that concerned about long distance high speed aerodynamics. This would allow raising the back floor and lowering the battery hump and implementing a bench seat option in the rear of the Volt. Install heat pumps for more efficient heating and increase battery capacity to 24kwh and you could see a bunch of Volt limmos in a couple of years.


  5. 5
    xiaowei1

     

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    Jan 16th, 2014 (8:04 am)

    Dave G: Excellent point.There’s a lot of discussion about getting “butts in seats” for plug-ins.This will increase butts in seats in a big way.

    Too bad the Volt has limited rear seat room.I see a lot of Prius taxis in Manhattan.If GM built the MPV5, that might be a great taxi.

    the Prius is a very popular car for taxis in Australia too, my own perception is it seem like every second taxi is a Prius.


  6. 6
    Mark Z

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    Jan 16th, 2014 (8:30 am)

    A great design for London streets. Several should be sent to the states to complement London Bridge and The Queen Mary.

    http://www.golakehavasu.com/about-us/about-havasu/london_bridge1.aspx

    http://www.queenmary.com/directions.php


  7. 7
    Raymondjram

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    Jan 16th, 2014 (9:24 am)

    This taxi design is excellent. A taxi vehicle must have a high roofline for easy entry and exit. The seats also must sit high for older passengers that cannot sit in a reclined seat. My Equinox fulfills these conditions, except that its floor is too high for taxi use. So if GM wish to sell EREV taxis in the U.S., it can use the new Equinox and modify it a bit.

    I still remember the famous Checker taxis in NYC and in Puerto Rico. I loved to sit on the folded seats and watch the rear view of the city as we ride.

    Raymond

    Edit: I wonder why the dimensions and other distance units are in meters, when Great Britain uses the Imperial System in miles, yards, inches, and feet (this was based on the length of the King’s foot!). If the British are converting to Metric, why the U.S. haven’t done the same?


  8. 8
    Raymondjram

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    Jan 16th, 2014 (9:32 am)

    bobchr:
    Not just Pirius Taxis but Highlander Hybrids, C-max Energi, Nissan Altima Hybrids, Ford Escape hybrids andCamry hybrids. The usual Fords are getting kinda scarce.

    I rode in a Escape Hybrid from the Kennedy Airport to the Upper West Side in March 2013, and it was almost falling apart! I felt almost every pot hole and road damage in my seat. A week later, I paid for a limousine ride back to the airport, which cost the same ($52) and it was in a Lincoln Continental. A much nicer ride for the same cost!:
    http://www.nyc.gov/html/tlc/html/passenger/taxicab_rate.shtml

    I am a New Yorker, but I feel sorry for all the city visitors that get the same bad taxi rides from the Kennedy Airport. I do wish GM and Ford can design a better taxi vehicle, and reduce the purchase and use of imports.

    Raymond


  9. 9
    bobchr

     

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    Jan 16th, 2014 (10:39 am)

    Raymondjram,

    Ramond, I’ve driven the Escape Hybrid at work (a company vehicle) it felt like driving one of those old 4 wheel roller skates on stilts. I use to drive for a car service that had several Lincolns of which one was stretched 7 inches. Even with the smooth ride of the base Lincolns the stretched Lincoln was Vastly superior in ride quality leg room and vibration isolation. Hence my suggestion to stretch the Volt and raise the roof. The only problem I had with driving those cars is at the end of the shift you have to fill the tank for the next driver as the service ran 24/7. Those babies were thirsty and required 90 octane minimum. A series of Volt limos would at least lighten the load even if you did not have time to charge.


  10. 10
    Martin

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    Jan 16th, 2014 (11:27 am)

    The entire world uses Metric, even the U.K.The only country who uses miles is U.S….Only country in the world using miles is U.S. Also the whole world uses Centigrade where 0 degree is the starting point and below 0 is freezing point…except America (U.S.A) uses farenheit..where it starts from some number 32 and it is confusing…..U.S does not wnat to change to metric..It is sheer arrogance.


  11. 11
    Martin

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    Jan 16th, 2014 (11:54 am)

    I wish GM will adopt the style of Tesla system and use light composite material or Alluminum alloy chasis and put the entire battry in the base to give 60kwh battery and have more room in the rear. Plus have the current generator system. This will give 200 mile electric range…This is the perfect car and they will lead the market…..All GM has to do is put the battery down in the base instead of the T shaped and take the room in the rear area of the car. This will bring great prosperity to GM. Choice should be given for 60KWH and 80KWH.


  12. 12
    bobchr

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    Jan 16th, 2014 (12:01 pm)

    Martin,

    But this one goes to 11. (Spinal Tap reference). Take it light Martin, where there is money being made the stake holders always are resistant to change. There is no money to be made here only costs so Stake holders in business are more likely to hold on to the familiar and do business in Metric only where it makes sense. Besides the US doesn’t deal in imperial Gallons and long Tons check the arrogance identifiers at the door.


  13. 13
    bobchr

     

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    Jan 16th, 2014 (12:18 pm)

    Martin,

    Aluminiun is a non starter for GM because of all the costs and requirements you would put on body shops and dealerships that do body work . GM has made plastic body panels with great success in the past The entire Saturn small car product line, certain Pontiac vehicles, the Corvette. They have continued to do this on selective body panels in their remaining inventory. They can certainly do more of it on their large SUV’s and light duty trucks. The could also pursue an experiment that Ford did back in the 80′s by employing a mixture of high temperature plastics with ceramics in pursuing lighter smaller more powerful ICE’s. Ford’s SVO unit was able to hammer out a 4 cylinder for Can-Am races in a specially equipped Mustang that produced over 1700 bhp in a 2.3 ltr unit. This link may peak your interest, http://blog.caranddriver.com/is-this-the-engine-of-the-future-in-depth-with-matti-holtzberg-and-his-composite-engine-block/


  14. 14
    Raymondjram

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    Jan 16th, 2014 (2:20 pm)

    bobchr,

    The 2014 Corvette Stingray uses an aluminum frame, after GM developed a new method to weld aluminum. We expect to see this technology flow from their flagship (not the Volt!) down to the other lines in the future. Then we hope to see a new Volt made with aluminum.

    I also know that aluminum is more expensive per pound than steel, even if it is also recyclable. So if GM cannot get lower prices, they will use aluminum only on their best profit-generating vehicles per sale. The Corvette Stingray is the first. We may see aluminum in the trucks and SUVs later.

    Raymond


  15. 15
    Dave G

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    Jan 16th, 2014 (2:22 pm)

    bobchr: Aluminiun is a non starter for GM because of all the costs and requirements you would put on body shops and dealerships that do body work

    The best selling vehicle in the U.S. is the Ford F150.
    http://blogs.cars.com/kickingtires/2014/01/top-10-best-selling-cars-december-2013.html

    The 2015 model will have an aluminum body.
    http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1089643_2015-ford-f-150-aluminum-body-smaller-engines-details-emerge

    With this in mind, I would say aluminum is already going mainstream. GM needs to catch up.


  16. 16
    Raymondjram

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    Jan 16th, 2014 (2:23 pm)

    bobchr:
    Raymondjram,

    Ramond, I’ve driven the Escape Hybrid at work (a company vehicle) it felt like driving one of those old 4 wheel roller skates on stilts. I use to drive for a car service that had several Lincolns of which one was stretched 7 inches. Even with the smooth ride of the base Lincolns the stretched Lincoln was Vastly superior in ride quality leg room and vibration isolation. Hence my suggestion to stretch the Volt and raise the roof. The only problem I had with driving those cars is at the end of the shift you have to fill the tank for the next driver as the service ran 24/7.Those babies were thirsty and required 90 octane minimum. A series of Volt limos would at least lighten the load even if you did not have time to charge.

    So you expect Ford to produce a new vehicle that is as comfortable as a Lincoln, but as efficient as a Escape Hybrid, or a C-Max now. Tell Ford to do that. Meanwhile, if I return to New York City, I will take another limousine! The $52+tax charge pays for that gas anyway.

    Raymond


  17. 17
    Raymondjram

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    Jan 16th, 2014 (2:38 pm)

    Martin:
    The entire world uses Metric, even the U.K.The only country who uses miles is U.S….Only country in the world using miles is U.S. Also the whole world uses Centigrade where 0 degree is the starting point and below 0 is freezing point…except America (U.S.A) uses farenheit..where it starts from some number 32 and it is confusing…..U.S does not wnat to change to metric..It is sheer arrogance.

    I believe you.

    I know many tech guys, including fellow Engineers educated in the U.S., that will not learn Metric. I leaned it in college here, and I can use and mentally convert from Imperial to Metric. Most new GM vehicles already use Metric fasteners. Here we have a mix of Imperial and Metric because when we were a Spanish colony, we used Metric. After the U.S. took over in 1898, we now use Imperial. Yet we buy gas and milk in Liters, food in Grams, and mark our highways in Meters.

    The U.S. must convert to Metric or get behind in technology, since all new devices have Metric dimensions. I still believe that there is some arrogance to change to Metric, even for some members in this forum.

    Raymond


  18. 18
    bobchr

     

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    Jan 16th, 2014 (2:52 pm)

    Dave G: The best selling vehicle in the U.S. is the Ford F150.
    http://blogs.cars.com/kickingtires/2014/01/top-10-best-selling-cars-december-2013.html

    The 2015 model will have an aluminum body.
    http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1089643_2015-ford-f-150-aluminum-body-smaller-engines-details-emerge

    With this in mind, I would say aluminum is already going mainstream.GM needs to catch up.

    Let’s see this in volume and at reasonable cost before we declare this. Quite a few in the industry were decrying BMW’s use of carbon fiber in the i3 also so let’s see. I personally feel there are cheaper solutions not being explored but maybe a decent manufacturing process cannot be found to implement these solutions.


  19. 19
    bobchr

     

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    Jan 16th, 2014 (3:16 pm)

    Raymondjram,

    No I do not expect Ford to do that but their current offering on the 2014 MKZ hybrid they claim to be getting 45 mpg combined. I would suspect a 6″ stretched version of this car to only lose 10% efficiency due to increased weight. A damn sight better than the 23/18 mpg hwy/city I used to get in the mini stretch.


  20. 20
    Sean

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    Jan 16th, 2014 (3:53 pm)

    Nice cab!

    Now if our cab companies could make a cab all electric or an EREV that would be great!

    But I doubt New York will buy one of these at all but a Chevy MPV5 I’ll have to agree we need those on the road and I could see it as a great competitor against the Highlander, Pilot, and of course the Nissan Leaf.

    The Future Is Electric Not Hydrogen!


  21. 21
    Dave G

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    Jan 16th, 2014 (4:03 pm)

    bobchr: Let’s see this in volume and at reasonable cost before we declare this.

    The Ford F150 is the highest volume vehicle in the US, and by this fall it will have an aluminum body. This is not an extra cost option. All Ford F150s will be aluminum. If that isn’t volume, I don’t know what is.

    Also from the article:
    “Ford has ambitious plans over the next three years to use aluminum not only for the F-150 line, but also the Heavy Duty F-Series trucks–and also the sport-utility vehicles derived from the F-150, the Ford Expedition and the Lincoln Navigator.”

    In other words, Ford is moving to aluminum in a big way. It’s a bold move.


  22. 22
    `Noel Park

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    Jan 16th, 2014 (4:09 pm)

    Last time I half jokingly wondered why the Brits were reinventing the wheel instead of just going with Volts or Amperas. But I finally have to admit that the Volt doesn’t have enough room in the back to be a viable taxi.

    I’m not too crazy abut the styling, preferring the old traditional London cab. Even so, it’s a pretty neat vehicle. All credit to the Brits for encouraging home grown solutions and buying same. I wish that we were as smart.

    Prii are taking over as cabs here too. Who could blame the cabbies at $3.50/gallon. But the suckers are made in Japan. So, unlike our British cousins, we shoot ourselves in the feet again.


  23. 23
    `Noel Park

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    Jan 16th, 2014 (4:12 pm)

    Dave G: In other words, Ford is moving to aluminum in a big way. It’s a bold move.

    #21

    Yeah, you’ve got to hand it to them. +1

    It’s going to be a shock to the auto body and insurance industries though. Currently shops that work on aluminum cars, Audis in particular, get TWICE the hourly labor rate paid for working on conventional cars.


  24. 24
    Jeff Cobb

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    Jan 16th, 2014 (4:49 pm)

    Got a nice trade-out for the Cruze diesel today. This is the very first loan for this car from this regional fleet.

    Anyone have any specific questions about it?

    ELR


  25. 25
    nasaman

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    Jan 16th, 2014 (5:11 pm)

    Jeff Cobb: Got a nice trade-out for the Cruze diesel today. This is the very first loan for this car from this regional fleet.

    Anyone have any specific questions about it?

    I’d like to see a detailed feature-by-feature comparison between the ELR and the Volt, as well as a subjective ELR/Volt comparison in comfort, performance & handling. Thanks in advance, Jeff!


  26. 26
    `Noel Park

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    Jan 16th, 2014 (5:46 pm)

    Jeff Cobb: Anyone have any specific questions about it?

    #24

    How do you like the paddle shifter(s) for the “L” range? It would seem a lot handier than the Volt “shifter”.


  27. 27
    Raymondjram

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    Jan 16th, 2014 (6:45 pm)

    `Noel Park: #21

    Yeah, you’ve got to hand it to them.+1

    It’s going to be a shock to the auto body and insurance industries though.Currently shops that work on aluminum cars, Audis in particular, get TWICE the hourly labor rate paid for working on conventional cars.

    Aluminum is softer than steel, unless it is mixed with other elements and becomes an alloy. If the vehicle body have this stronger aluminum, the auto shops will have a very hard time straightening dents. The next solution would be to use a “space frame” (such as what the Pontiac Fiero had) out of aluminum alloy, and put composite plastic panels over it for the body. This may be what the new Corvette Stingray has.

    The direct benefit will be the absence of body rust forever. A side benefit would be the availability to change the body color by swapping panels.

    Raymond


  28. 28
    James

     

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    Jan 16th, 2014 (8:08 pm)

    Really cool taxis.

    They’re built rugged for lots of use, and while homely, they definitely have tons of
    space inside. If the price was right and the driver’s seat on the left, it could be a
    very practical vehicle for private consumers here. It’d be nice to know what the
    range and performance parameters are.

    CHARGE! ,

    James


  29. 29
    Dave G

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    Jan 16th, 2014 (9:28 pm)

    Jeff Cobb: Got a nice trade-out for the Cruze diesel today. This is the very first loan for this car from this regional fleet.
    Anyone have any specific questions about it?

    I’m most interested in the ride. How quiet is it? How does the suspension compare with the Volt? How does it accelerate?

    If the ride is really special, they may have something.


  30. 30
    James

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    Jan 17th, 2014 (3:01 am)

    Jeff Cobb:
    Got a nice trade-out for the Cruze diesel today. This is the very first loan for this car from this regional fleet.

    Anyone have any specific questions about it?

    A few questions.

    Who’ll fit in the back seat? How much storage is in the rear area? I haven’t seen anybody snap a photo of the trunk.
    How nifty is the power cup holder, and how long until you’re tired of it ( or tired showing it off
    to riders )?
    Is there a notable improvement in how it handles corners vs. Volt? – say a bit above the posted
    legal speed limit?
    What is your actual experienced AER difference between Volt and ELR?
    Did you enjoy using the adjustable regen with the steering wheel buttons?
    After driving the car for awhile, can you see this car costing the equivalent of two Volts?

    RECHARGE! ,

    James


  31. 31
    'georgeBower

     

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    Jan 18th, 2014 (9:06 am)

    Really cool taxis.


  32. 32
    Islander

     

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    Jan 22nd, 2014 (5:48 pm)

    Cool Taxi. Smart application.

    An EREV would be a good fit for taxis in the USA and other countries. Also, an EREV for US mail delivery trucks too, etc, etc…

    Hello GM… knock, knock. Is anyone home?!!! Don’t think anyone is home.