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Hail a green cab: introducing London’s new fully electric taxi

By El Hunt
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London might be famous for its iconic black cabs, but soon there’ll be a fleet of green ones pootling around the city. And we’re not talking about a paint job – this is a new eco answer to the classic hackney carriage. It’s called Dynamo and it’s electric, baby.

Inspired by the world-famous Austin FX4 black cab, the kind you see on fridge magnets, the new Dynamo taxis are made in Coventry and can run for 187 miles on a single charge. (That’s enough to get from Zone 1 to Heathrow and back five times over.) They’ve been introduced as Transport for London leads a drive to clean up London’s air: in January 2018, new rules came into force that all newly-licensed cabs need to be electric or capable of zero emissions. There are already around 2,450 hybrid taxis serving the city, which run off a mixture of electric and petrol.

This isn’t the first attempt to bring fully electric taxis to the streets of London, mind. Way back in 1897, a guy called Walter Bersey produced 12 electric cabs. With a bracing top speed of 12mph, the ill-fated taxis broke down on a regular basis and were often overtaken by their horse-drawn counterparts. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they were axed after two years.

Thankfully, the new Dynamo cabs are a bit nippier, so there’ll be no need to set aside three hours to trundle to Gatwick Airport. The cabs are now available for London’s taxi drivers, so you should see them on the streets soon.

Find out how you can make London greener by joining our campaign: How to build a green city. Or discover the things you only know if you’re a black cab driver.

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