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

Could A White LEVC TX Electric Taxi Be A 21st Century Wedding Car?

I took these pictures of a white LEVC TX electric taxi at St. Pancras station.

A few minutes later, I got into a more common black one and asked the driver.

He said, he was very pleased with his new vehicle and he suspected some had been used as wedding cars.

September 20, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | 2 Comments

I Have Yet To See A Lady Driving A London Battery Taxi

You don’t see many ladies driving black cabs in London, but there are more than a few.

But I’ve yet to see one of the new LEVC TX taxi being driven by a lady!

As the numbers of these taxis appear to be increasing, I don’t think it will be long before I come home in a battery taxi, driven by a lady.

 

June 11, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

Is It Illegal To Discriminate Against Diesel Black Cabs?

I probably take one or two black cabs a week.

Usually, this is from a rank at a main line station or from outside Marks & Spencer on Finsbury Pavement, when I have a lot of shopping.

A couple of days ago, I was waiting outside Moorgate station for a 21 or 141 bus to travel home, as these conveniently stop within a hundred metres of my house.

Note that I prefer the 21 bus, as its’s a New Routemaster, which are more spacious.

But as no bus seemed due and I was in a hurry, I decided to take a black cab.

So I made a deal with myself. Whichever cam first of a 21 bus or a battery electric taxi would take me home. The bus came first and I got in.

I think now, that there are more battery electric taxis on the streets, in Central London, the chances of being picked up by one are increasing significantly.

But is it illegal to discriminate, as I now appear to be doing?

I would argue, that my choice of a battery electric taxi is not environmental but selfish! These new taxis are more comfortable, spacious and quieter, making the journey experience much more pleasurable.

After all, why would you travel in a Ford or Vauxhall, when you have the comfort of a Jaguar? Especially, as the cost of both vehicles is the same!

May 25, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

The Silent Transport Revolution

Today, I rode in two battery-powered modes of transport.

Returning from Kings Cross, I was a passenger in one of London’s new black cabs; the LEVC TX.

Earlier in the day, I’d ridden in a battery-powered version of the Class 230 train.

Both vehicles are quieter than diesel-powered versions, as is to be expected.

But what surprised me about the Class 230 train today, is that you can have a normal conversation in the train without raising your voice. The D78 trains from which the Class 230 train has been developed, weren’t that quiet.

The Class 379 BEMU, that I rode in three years ago, was also quiet.

I came back from Scotland in a Standard Class Mark 4 Coach, which was also quiet, but it is a trailer without motors and probably plenty of sound-proofing.

Does the design of a battery-electric vehicle with regenerative braking reduce the noise and vibration emitted?

The Class 230 train has an electrical system based on DC batteries and AC traction motors. So there must be aone very clever heavy electronics to manage the power. So there is orobably little in the electrical system to make the clatter one typically hears on a train. The train obviously has a mechanical brake for emergencies and to bring the train to a funal halt, but that was not used in anger on our short trip.

October 10, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

First Sighting Of A Battery Taxi

London is getting battery taxis. They are officially called LEVC TX.

I took these pictures from the back platform of a New Routemaster bus.

It certainly looks good from the front. And I’ll try one when I can!

I have a feeling that, because it looks right, the early adopters will do well, as punters will want to give it a try.

If it is reliable and the costs stack up for the drivers, I think it could sell well.

 

This is a review of the LEVC TX.

If it ends up in large numbers on the streets of London and other British cities, it may actually start a substantial move to electric vehicles.

Imagine coming into St. Pancras on Eurostar and then you and your family take an electric taxi home to Hampstead, Kensington or like me, to Dalston! Will your kids, badger you to get an electric car, because it is good for the environment and so cool?

I don’t know! But electric taxis could be the advertising for all electric vehicles!

 

 

 

March 19, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment