Called the Mercedes Electric eVito Taxi, the zero-emissions, lithium-ion battery vehicle was developed by a consortium of high-technology engineering companies including ECV’s manufacturing partner Penso, Mercedes Benz UK and Zytec Automotive.
The electric taxi is powered by Zytek’s 70kW electric powertrain and expected to exceed a total range of 120 miles in a typical mixed drive cycle on a single charge.
One80 Ltd provides its patented rear-wheel steering technology for the eVito as well as the Vito taxi, enabling the vehicle to meet the Public Carriage Office requirement for a minimum turning circle of 25 feet.
The vehicle’s performance is predicted to be similar to the internal combustion engine taxi, making it an ideal choice for inner city transportation and London cabbies. With zero emissions, it is also expected to be fully compliant with the Mayor of London’s proposed new clean air standards for London taxis, due to be introduced in time for the London Olympics.
The E Vito taxi programme has been part-funded by a £2.5 million grant from regional development agency Advantage West Midlands (AWM) whose Advantage Niche Vehicle Research & Development Programme (NVRDP) brought together the necessary expertise from Zytek, Penso and fellow consortium members: Vocis/Graziano, Valence Technology and Mercedes Benz UK – which donated the Vito platform that underwent the electric transformation.[soource: Eco City Vehicles PLC]