The electric drivetrain is just one of the cutting-edge technologies underneath the stylish exterior of the new electric taxi. Like all our vehicles, the new taxi is purpose-built from the ground up as the ultimate taxi, but this time we’ve taken a radically different approach.
The all-new body structure has been designed exclusively for the electric drivetrain; creating a perfect fit for all the mechanical components. This means more room inside and better occupant protection.
Historically, conventional steel has formed the backbone of our vehicles, but for the new taxi we’ve adopted the latest body construction techniques to build a taxi that is lighter, more fuel efficient and better to drive – but still designed for the rigorous demands and life expectancy of a purpose-built taxi.
Lightweight Bonded Aluminium
This is possible thanks to a bonded aluminium structure. This technology is already used in high-end automotive, motorsport and aerospace industries – and we’ve adapted it for the unique requirements of a commercial vehicle.
The all-aluminium structure is bonded, or glued, together with special adhesives. 30% lighter than an equivalent steel structure and more than twice as strong as welding, this process is perfectly suited to the electric taxi, maximising weight-savings to deliver greater electric range.
The resulting structure is incredibly strong, making the new electric taxi our safest ever. Pound for pound, aluminium can absorb twice the crash energy of mild steel – and because it’s lighter, there is less energy to dissipate in the first place.
And anodised aluminium has other big advantages; it is extremely corrosion resistant and durable, remaining as strong as the day it was formed.
In its raw form, aluminium is the third most abundant natural element on our planet. Despite this, the aluminium used in our body structure is made from recycled material, reducing the environmental impact even further. Sourcing aluminium in this way also reduces the variations in the raw material allowing us to guarantee the highest-quality, most consistent components possible.
Not only that, but the end of the vehicle’s life is greener too. 90% of automotive aluminium scrap — more than a half-million tons a year — is recovered and recycled. To put this in perspective: recycling 1 ton of aluminium saves the energy equivalent of 21 barrels of oil.
Taxis cover many miles on unpredictable urban streets, and because of this serviceability and reparability were key considerations in the development process. A taxi must be designed to resist damage, be quickly and easily repaired to minimise down time and be cost-effective, reducing repair costs and therefore insurance premiums.
Our products have long been renowned for their reparability, and the new electric taxi is no different. We look forward to revealing the clever design solutions that make this possible in a future article.