German Take on English Tradition: Volkswagen's All-Electric London Taxi Concept

Over the decades, the London Taxi has become a British icon, just like the double-decker bus or the red telephone booth. However, this might change in the future, as stricter emissions regulations could threaten the aging diesel cabs. Volkswagen’s EV Taxi Concept, which is based on the forthcoming Up! supermini, could offer a solution to this problem, should it ever make it into production.

Motivated by a 115 hp (86 kW) electric motor that draws energy from a set of lithium-ion batteries, the Taxi Concept can reach a top speed of 74 mph (121 km/h) and has driving range of 186 miles (300 km). According to the German automaker, an 80 per cent charge of the batteries takes approximately one hour to complete.

It’s clear that, performance-wise, the EV is more than suited for taxi duty, but Volkswagen didn’t stop there. Designing a body with minimal overhangs, the automaker was able to create a roomy cabin, albeit for only two passengers at the back along with their luggage. Still, that’s pretty impressive if we take into consideration that the concept measures just 3.7 meters (146 inches) in length.

The cabin has a simple, clutter-free design with the most important functions, such as fare information, climate control and entertainment, controlled through a touchscreen display mounted next to the driver. A second display provides information for the passengers.

The Taxi Concept doesn’t fulfill current London taxi regulations, but it does offer an insight into future possibilities, which, in our opinion, are worth considering.

By Csaba Daradics