The Anonymous Widower

A Ride In A Dynamo Electric Taxi

I came out of Marks and Spencer on Finsbury Pavement and an unusual black taxi was sitting on the rank opposite.

So I had to take a ride.

It was a Dynamo Electric Taxi based on a Nissan e-NV200 Evalia MPV.

These are my thoughts.

 

The Two Major Complaints About The LEVC TX Cab From Drivers

There are two major complaints about the LEVC TX from drivers.

  • It is too expensive to buy.
  • The range on battery power is not far enough.

I’ve also had several conversations about hydrogen power

My Taxi Use

As I have a Freedom Pass, I only travel in taxis about twice a month. Usually this is when I’m coming home from a railway station like Euston, Liverpool Street or Kings Cross in the evening and I want to get home quickly, or I am coming home with shopping, as I was today. Only occasionally, do I use a taxi with somebody else.

I’d be interested to know, the average number of passengers in a black cab.

Dynamo Has Developed A Vehicle To Sell

I feel that Dynamo have developed a vehicle that will sell.

  • The driver said that it is £20,000 cheaper than the LEVC TX.
  • The web site says that the battery range is at least twice that of the LEVC TX.
  • The capacity is one less than the lEVC TX, which is probably not a large disadvantage.
  • The cab includes four different charging methods.
  • It can even be charged from a 13-amp socket.
  • It can carry one person in a wheelchair.
  • Roomy enough for taller drivers.
  • Dynamo claimed to have talked to the drivers. As they have addressed, their two major complaints, that seems about right.
  • It has a glass roof, as does the LEV TX, which is a good feature for a cab,
  • It is 100 % electric and zero carbon.

Overall, it seems to have been designed to have a low cost of ownership. Being based on a standard vehicle must help.

Would It Appeal To Drivers In Smaller Towns And Cities?

After my stroke, I used a lot of taxis to go between my house and the local bus station in Haverhill, which was a distance of about four miles.

Haverhill is a town of 27,000 people without a railway station.

  • The nearest railway station at Dullingham is 10 miles away.
  • Cambridge is 18 miles away.
  • Bury St. Edmunds is 19 miles away.

I feel that the range could be sufficient to run a taxi service in a town like Haverhill.

So could the Dynamo taxi, bring black cabs to more areas?

Ride Quality

Ride quality was what I would expect from a modern vehicle.

Comfort And Space

Comfort was very similar to that of an LEVC TX, but there was a little bit less space. But that wouldn’t bother me.

Would I Use One Again?

I can’t see any reason not to!

I might even choose one in preference to an LEVC TX or a Mercedes Vito, as my road can sometimes be congested and a smaller vehicle might be an advantage.

Conclusion

The Dynamo Black Cab looks to be a serious alternative to the LEVC TX. Especially, as the design has addressed the two major complaints of drovers; cost and range and the vehicle is 100 % electric.

In my lifetime, there have been alternative black cabs, like the Winchester, the Mercedes Vito and the Metrocab.

I can see others joining the market.

 

October 5, 2020 - Posted by | Transport | , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Some local authorities will need to modify their taxi regulations to accept this vehicle, specifically to support non-manufacturer conversions/modifications (some don’t, vehicle has to be direct from manufacturer without modification–which LTI/LEVC would qualify, but Dynamo would seem not to).

    Speaking with a driver in Leeds, who was bemoaning the lack of choice for 7 seaters and certainly the lack of hybrid or electric 7 seaters. despite Nissan eNV being available as a van platform which could be converted to passenger.

    Comment by MilesT | October 7, 2020 | Reply

  2. According to Wikipedia, the Dynamo was developed by Nissan in London in cooperation with Transport for London and the Licenced Taxi Drivers Association, so it might be easier to get that certification.

    I’ve heard the complaint about a larger vehicle being needed from drivers in both Ipswich and Cambridge.

    Surely, we need a central licensing system, which says, which vehicles can be used as black cabs.

    Comment by AnonW | October 7, 2020 | Reply


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