LONDON ELECTRIC TAXIS RECEIVE GKN TECHNOLOGY
London’s newest electric taxi will be driving using a brand new GKN Driveline technology. The eAxle system will be installed in the LEVC (London Electric Vehicle Company) taxis after gaining recognition by winning the Automotive News PACE Innovation Award in 2016.
The first application of the new technology was in Volvo’s T8 Twin Egine plugin hybrids, where the small motor was used to power the real wheels, in an axle-split secondary driving role. This means the eAxle was powering the rear wheels with a 60 kW electric motor, working in conjunction with a combustion engine that propels the front wheels.
In the LEVC TX, the GKN axle will be the primary drive unit, and will be using a more powerful 120 kW electric motor to power the taxis. A small gasoline engine will be in the vehicles, however it is designated to provide range-extended power to the battery pack, so technically the vehicle is powered 100% by electric means.
The LEVC TX will have a drive range around 120 km, according to official test figures, while the addition of the gasoline range-extender boosts it up to an impressive total of 607 km.
The components of the GKN technology are designed specifically for the LEVC TX, meaning the technology is relevant for other vehicles, however it would have to be adapted to fit a different car. The Volvo version of the eAxle was built significantly differently, as the requirements for the vehicle had to satisfy entirely different standards.
Londons new environmental regulations for taxis, which went into force on the 01.01.18, require a minimum of a 30 mile range with zero emissions, and a maximum CO2 emission of 50g/km beyond that. It seems London is ready to enter the next generation of public transport, as not only buses, but all forms of public transportation, and specifically taxis, are being fitted to minimize their ecological footprints!