Black cabs are about to go green in London. The Chinese owners of London Taxi Company, Zhejiang Geely Group, has raised St£274 million as part of its plan to develop zero-emission vehicles.
A new factory will be located in the British midlands to produce eco-friendly models of black cabs. The investment is set to create close to 1000 jobs in Coventry.
The Daily Telegraph reports that Geely has undertaken a “green bond” to finance an electric version of its TX5 taxi.
The money from the bonds will help to create design and engineering works of the new black cabs’ power systems.
It is estimated that the new models will be ready for us next year in Britain and will be sold everywhere from 2018.
Geely says its groundbreaking move has produced a strong respond in fundraising circles. Already the five-year bond which pays a 2.75% coupon, is oversubscribed six-fold.
In tandem with the work on producing the new taxi, the company is also seeking to create electric designs. These include light commercial vehicles in the hope that it can enter new markets.
The new factory will produce 30,000 vehicles a year, which is well above the UK demand for taxis.
London Taxi Company chief executive Peter Johansen said they were committed to zero-emission vehicles. He added that the green bond would improve the company’s competitive edge in new energy technologies.
Geely spent £11 million three years ago to take London Taxi Company out of administration. Previously named Manganese Bronze, that company had collapsed the previous year following a steering fault in its then most up to date model which landed the company in a crisis.