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Aluminium components for London’s zero-emissions cab

London Electrical Vehicle Company is using advanced lightweight aluminium components to improve its new zero-emissions taxicab.

London Electrical Vehicle Company (LEVC) is building the petrol and electric-powered taxi – the TX eCity – to replace the older diesel models on London roads.

All-aluminium body structure

The all-aluminium body structure – or, frame – of the new TX is bonded together using a hot cure adhesive. “This improves the vehicle’s strength because we end up with joints that are cohesive and well connected over the whole of the joint, rather than at single points,” says Chris Staunton, chief engineer of structures for LEVC.

He says similar technology has been used in aerospace and in sports cars for more than 20 years.

Excellent energy absorption, safer taxicab

Hydro, through the extruded solutions company Sapa, which it acquired in October 2017, worked with LEVC throughout the development phases of the TX project and is supplying major body components for the vehicle. 

The aluminium frame of the TX eCity is 30 percent lighter than the frame in past taxis. The weight reduction improves vehicle performance and increases the range of the electric engine.

Aluminium also absorbs twice as much energy as mild steel – pound for pound – thereby reducing the forces experienced in a crash. Consequently, this helps make the new electric taxi LEVC’s safest ever.

LEVC has tested the TX eCity in environments ranging from the Arctic Circle to the deserts of Arizona.

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