The Strategist

Geely to turn London's black cab into hybrid

05/20/2016 - 15:50

Chinese carmaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., which owns the manufacturer of London black cabs, has attracted $ 400 million to finance development of hybrid TX5, Bloomberg reported. This vehicle is designed to replace traditional cabs.

Andreas Tusche
Andreas Tusche
The funds were drawn by placing a so-called green bonds (debt instruments, gains from the sale of which is given to finance environmental projects). According to representatives of Barclays Bank in Hong Kong, during the placement the company managed to raise amount six times higher than previously expected.

TX5 is a hybrid version of the classic cab Austin FX4, which has been used as the London taxi since 1958. "This is a landmark event for us, and not only in terms of funds raised, but also in the sense of purpose [of investment]," - said Geely’s Chief Financial Officer Frank Li. In the near future, he said, the company has no plans to re-release green bonds.

In the next two weeks, Geely will launch production of TX5’s prototype at a new factory in Coventry, England. The company plans to launch commercial sales in the fourth quarter of 2017. Geely can produce 36 thousand electric cabs per year, while only 23 thousand machines operate in London now. According to Li, Geely is already in talks about hybrids supplies to other European metropolises. 

Earlier it was reported that Geely plans to create a new automotive brand in Europe. According to some reports, this event could happen already in 2017. The company plans to engage Volvo in the development.

The new car brand from Geely will be called L. The vehicle will be built on CMA platform, jointly developed by Volvo and Geely companies. A SUV model will be released first, and after that, a sedan will replenish the range. Earlier, representatives of Geely wanted to launch European sales of NL-3 crossover, which looks like GC9 flagship sedan. The novelty has got roof rails, a panoramic sunroof, and chrome grille. Inside, the car boasts with a digital dashboard and an entertainment system that supports Apple CarPlay. The crossover is equipped with a gasoline 2-liters engine, generating 140 hp. 1.8 liter-version with two power options of 160 or 184 hp willalso be available. The engines will be paired with a six-speed "automatic" or "mechanics".