Cleaning up the streets of London will be much easier, now that Nissan has designed a new electric taxi that appeals to Britons.
The iconic Checker Taxi, which produced a distinctive checkerboard taxicabs from about the turn of the century to 1982, or Yellow Cab, which is almost universally-known and used, signifies “Taxi” to Americans and anyone visiting the States.
The black London Cab has the same effect in Great Britain, whose design has remained relatively familiar since it’s adoption in the 1600s. Of course, the London Cab did change over the years, reflecting the available technology of the day, but it’s still fairly recognizable, especially over the last hundred years, or so. In 2015, the London Cab will be going back to electric taxis.
Back to electric taxis? Yep, back around the turn of the century, rechargeable battery electric vehicles were serving as taxicabs around the world. In fact, the first speeding ticket and automobile-related fatality have been attributed to electric taxis. Of course, the gasoline and diesel internal combustion engine ended up taking over for the horse for the last century or so, but we’re seeing electric taxis popping up all over in the beginning of this century. In London, not just any taxi will do, however, and Nissan worked hard on a new taxi that would be, not only green, but instantly recognizable as a London Cab.
The Nissan NV200 looks like most of the black London Cabs that ply the streets, sort of, and will first be offered with a gasoline-powered 1.6ℓ i4, mated to an automatic transmission. In 2015, there will also be an NV200 Electric taxi. Darryl Scriven, Nissan Design Europe’s Design Excellence Manager, said of the project…
The main challenges were concerned with making sure customers can easily recognize it as a taxi. Being in London, we were able to go out and talk to cabbies about what was important to them as well as look at the vehicle from a customer’s viewpoint. It’s unusual for us to be able to work on something as bespoke as this, specifically for one location in the world and we are very proud to have been asked to do so.
Image © Nissan (Screenshot)