LEVC TX vs Nissan Dynamo Electric Taxi
Since its launch in 2017, LEVC (previously know as the London Taxi Company) has been the market leader for all things electric taxi related on the streets of London. Fast forward to 2019, and now the Nissan Dynamo electric taxi, dubbed “The World’s First 100% Electric Black Cab” will make its debut, attempting to prove it has the credentials needed to make a dent in the EV taxi market.
This article will look at both taxis and compare their appearance, features, affordability and running costs.
Appearance and features
Boasting the frame of the traditional hackney carriage, the LEVC TX eCity is deemed as a user friendly, accessible black cab. The panoramic glass roof is a top feature of the taxi, giving users the chance to see city landmarks from the open sky above them. Passengers can also expect to stay well connected during their travels, as all taxis come equipped with free Wi-Fi availability and USB ports on board.
On the accessibility front, wheelchair access comes via a discreet access ramp integrated into the floorspace; also included is a driver-passenger microphone system and a hearing induction loop.
Dynamo Electric Taxi
While the Dynamo does not resemble the traditional TX appearance, it is modelled on the proven and popular e-NV200 Evalia and can accommodate 5 passengers.
Just like the LEVC TX, the dynamo taxi’s connectivity provides huge value to drivers and passengers. The taxi comes with smart phone integration via Bluetooth, USB charge points for two chargers and air conditioning that can be preset with the dedicated taxi app or the vehicle key fob.
The taxi is also equipped with a double folded, easy stow ramp, a panoramic roof and easy to wipe down seats.
However, criticisms for the taxi have been centered around the sliding windows which gives it a “van feel”, and the manual passenger doors, which at first glance would have been expected to be electric to add a premium, luxury feel.
Safety and comfort
The LEVC taxi has been designed to be the “ultimate mobile office” for the professional taxi driver.
As can be expected from a company owned by Geely, and therefore close to safety and comfort champions Volvo, LEVC has created a vehicle packed with features to enhance the driving experience. The fully-adjustable and ergonomically-designed seat delivers supportive comfort throughout the day. Powerful automatic air conditioning keeps drivers cool under pressure.
The angled central touchscreen provides access to all of the vehicle’s systems and settings, from incoming calls to satellite navigation assistance.
The TX has completed more test mileage than all of the previous models put together, put through its paces in places such as the Arctic tundra – as well as in the busy urban settings where it will most commonly be used.
Dynamo Electric Taxi
The Nissan Dynamo Taxi has Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) that continuously monitors driving ability. It will recognise under and over-steering and can compensate for this by reducing speed or applying gentle braking, keeping drivers and their passengers safe. The cab also comes with tyre pressure monitoring.
Also, with Nissan’s e-NV200 air conditioning system, cabbies can warm up or cool down quickly in any weather at the push of a button. For cold mornings, the cab is equipped with a heated front seat and a heated steering wheel.
One particularly innovative feature, the Click & Go Key fob, allows taxi owners to lock and unlock their cabs without having to get their key out, providing seamless entry. The fob can also be used for climate control.
Price and running costs
The LEVC TX outright price is set at £57,099. The taxi is also available to lease from £184. Included in the price is the delivery charge, first registration fee and the £7,5000 plug in taxi grant issued by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV). The taxi only requires scheduled servicing every 25,000 miles.
LEVC claims cabbies will save up to £110 a week, which will account to a total 5 year saving of £27,389. The taxi comes with 3 years, 120k miles full vehicle warranty and 5 years unlimited mileage battery warranty.
Dynamo Electric Taxi
The price for the Dynamo Electric Taxi is £45,495, which also includes the £7,500 taxi grant. Bespoke finance packages are available for all drivers to accommodate differing circumstances – including a less than perfect credit rating.
The motor company claims that the vehicle will have ‘fuel’ costs of only 3p per mile (estimate based on charging at home), service costs reduced by 30% and a range of over 170 miles per charge. They also believe the Dynamo will cost £30 per week on electricity and will become the most cost effective taxi in the UK. Another benefit of the taxi is that the vehicle can be charged by a standard household 3 pin plug socket, bypassing the need for a home charging point installation.
The taxi requires scheduled servicing every 18,000 miles and is covered by a warranty of three years, with batteries covered with a separate warranty of five years.
Ultimately, we believe there are strong cases for both taxis. The LEVC model and appearance alone will sway many drivers as it blends tradition and 21st century living together with a design inspired by the iconic TX4 Black Cab.
As for the Nissan Dynamo taxi, while the shape may cause reservations for some drivers, the Hackney carriage has always had alternative looks throughout the generations and shouldn’t stop drivers from giving the vehicle a chance. As John Heath, Market Development Manager of Dynamo Motors says, “the Dynamo Taxi isn’t for everybody”.
And, with low running and maintenance costs, a wealth of safety, technology and comfort features, both vehicles certainly seem to have a bright future ahead of them.
Which cab do you prefer? Tweet us your thoughts @PlanInsurance
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