An all-electric taxi, E Vito, was among the winners in the UK’s first Future Car Challenge, during which over 60 low-emissions vehicles travelled non-stop from Brighton to London.
The prototype was developed in the West Midlands by a corsortium that included automotive engineering specialists Zytek and technology expert Penso.
Neil Heslington, managing director of Zytek and driver of the E Vito during the race, said: “This is the biggest challenge that we’ve given the E Vito to date. It was a very smooth ride and all partners are incredibly proud of how it performed. Zytek is committed to working with other vehicle companies to take this technology forward and we hope that this rally is further evidence of the great service it could give to taxi operators in the future.”
E Vito met all the legislative requirements of the Public Carriage Office and is licensed for use in London.
The development of the taxi was partly funded by the Niche Vehicle Network (NVN), which was established by Advance West Midlands and managed in Coventry by Cenex, the Centre of Excellence for Low Carbon and Fuel Cell Technologies.
The NVN promotes synergy among its 56 members, with the common goal to develop innovative and competitive vehicles.
Julia Chance, programme manager for Cenex, said: “Zytek is one of the world’s most experienced developers of powertrains for electric vehicles. Everyone involved in the NVN was keen to support the development of this cutting edge model, which we believe can play a major role in a future low carbon transport infrastructure.”
“The E Vito is certainly one of the NVN’s marquee projects, and is one of several initiatives we are involved in that creates and safeguards jobs within the West Midlands as well as highlighting our expertise in low carbon vehicles on the world stage,” she added.