Delivering quality, dependability and durability
We’ve been designing and manufacturing purpose-built taxis for more than 70 years, which means we know better than anyone what it takes to build a vehicle capable of withstanding the demanding duty-cycle and regulatory Conditions of Fitness. Building a completely new vehicle, one with no carry-over parts, presents a new challenge; one which we haven’t underestimated and one which our highly-experienced engineering, quality and design teams meet head on every day.
We’ve invested heavily in people who share our commitment to delivering the very best purpose-built, electric taxi possible; which combines zero-emissions capability, cutting-edge design, and technology to meet the rigorous and varied demands of taxis around the world in all conditions.
In producing such a vehicle, we draw upon the skills and capabilities of an expert engineering team which possess over 500 combined years of experience in the automotive industry. Each member of the team has been exposed to, or worked closely with electric vehicles and their development, working at the forefront of this rapidly-developing technology.
Our engineers have demonstrated their ability to deliver large scale projects and initiatives from every discipline in the automotive industry. We benefit from their deep wealth of expertise from a wide range of different backgrounds; including development of light weight body structures, sports and supercars, electric vehicle powertrains, commercial vehicles, plant machinery… and even Formula 1.
As you might expect from so many years spent in leading automotive roles, our team have worked and delivered ground-breaking projects all over the world. This first-hand experience of different markets gives a great appreciation of the diverse local requirements and helps us to develop an electric taxi which can meet the needs of a global audience.
Meet the Engineering Experts
Here is an opportunity to meet just a few of the team responsible for delivering the electric taxi. Ian, Chris and Jim all bring to the project first-hand experience in building an electric vehicle:
Ian Collins – Technical Director
Ian is a Chartered Electrical Engineer with extensive experience in delivery of automotive systems to volume production. Following a 10 year period in electronics development at Rover Group, he joined McLaren Automotive where he was appointed Chief Electrical Engineer on the Mercedes SLR supercar programme. Ian’s role is to direct the design and development activities from initial concept through to series production and beyond, ensuring that the technical attributes and qualities of the finished product meet the needs and expectations of our customers.
“Key to our vision for the future is building a highly capable team equipped with the best tools and methods to develop highly competitive electric vehicles – vehicles which offer drivers cost effective solutions to the problem of achieving lower vehicle emissions, without increasing running costs. Through these efforts we can produce a new taxi which offers practicable durability with ergonomic interior refinements, and also helps improve the quality of urban life.”
Chris Hiett – Programme Director
Chris has over 37 years’ experience in the automotive, aerospace and rail industries with the majority of that being in the automotive sector. In his early career, Chris spent 7 years with Ford working in Light Truck Engineering, which was followed by 17 years at a leading automotive consultancy firm. As their Technical Director he had overall responsibility for development through to production of several projects including a Mazda sports car, a lightweight chassis for Jaguar and the Honda Civic estate car. He then joined global consultancy firm Arup, which involved delivery of two large aerospace projects. Chris is responsible for the overall Programme Management activities and bringing the latest industry standard, proven and robust Programme Management processes to the business.
“Developing the new electric taxi has been a project that has drawn the very best talent from across the automotive industry and beyond. The team we have put together on this project has managed to combine an iconic design with ground breaking technology. We are now in the position to bring to market a commercially attractive electric vehicle which is not only a purpose build taxi from the ground up, but a vehicle which offers the taxi driver the sort of running costs which simply cannot be achieved from a traditional diesel model. This technology will not only revolutionise the taxi industry but will also be utilised to form the basis of a variety of other commercial vehicles.”
Jim Hadden – Operations Director
Jim has held a series of project management and business leadership roles in the automotive and construction industries in a career spanning over 25 years. Most recently, he was Regional Director for an international construction and programme management company based in London. Previously he has worked as Programmes Director for a leading supplier of automotive design and engineering services, overseeing development activities for several vehicles, principally for Ford, Land Rover, Bentley, Daewoo and Mazda.
“We have created a manufacturing facility which is truly world class. It’s the only automotive manufacturing facility in the UK which is purely dedicated to electric vehicles and the first car plant built in the UK for over a decade. Most of all however, the vehicles that we produce here will be subject to the highest standards of quality, consistency and efficiency which is all achieved through utilising highly advanced composite materials and state of the art manufacturing processes. This is not only set to be our best taxi ever, but sets the benchmark for electric vehicle manufacturing across the automotive industry.”
Because we value quality so highly, we’re proud and excited to play a role in nurturing the next generation of engineers. We’ve invested heavily in our development programmes, and we are the first automotive manufacturer to comply with the highest Apprenticeship Standards set by the Institute of the Motor Industry.
Our 22 apprentices and graduates work alongside hi-tech robotics and multi-million-pound machines, all operating in perfect synchronisation. This helps us ensure that the future technicians who will build the new electric taxi possess the required level of competence, formal qualifications and skills; but also, a complete understanding, appreciation and adherence to our stringent quality assurance methods.
By ensuring recruits follow our business processes, and training them to understand, master and continuously improve them, we can build a more sustainable business for the future, while supporting the best young people in their transition from education into a successful career.
Our mix of high-level expertise in the field of vehicle engineering, supported by the brightest young talent and the latest innovations in production processes, will help us launch an electric vehicle which revolutionises the taxi industry; setting a new benchmark with the world’s first purpose-built, zero-emissions capable electric taxi that will improve passenger experience, help to eliminate emissions from our city centres, and bring down running cost for drivers and commercial operators.