Mercedes Vito electric-taxi heads for the streets of London


March 29, 2010

Mercedes Vito e-taxi

Mercedes Vito e-taxi

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It seems that hailing a fuel-cell powered black cab won't be the only option for Londoners looking to grab a green fare. Now ready for trials, this plug-in electric conversion of the Mercedes Vito can carry up to six people and has a range of 120 kilometers on a single six hour charge.

The E-Vito taxi uses a 70kW, 300Nm Zytek electric drivetrain which slots into the engine bay with only minor modification to the engine mounts. It requires water, high voltage and low voltage connections tpo be added and talks to existing vehicle systems such as ABS, ESP and onboard diagnostics.

The E-Drive is married to a Vocis/Graziano transmission and the Vito has been converted to front wheel drive free-up space for the underfloor Li-Ion battery pack.

There's also a steerable rear axle which delivers a 25 ft (7.6 m) turning circle - something that's not only useful in London's poky streets, but also required by all licensed black cabs.

The partners in the programme are Zytek, Valence Technology, Penso and Mercedes-Benz UK, which donated the base vehicle.

Mercedes has recently rolled-out its own electric Vito - which it plans to begin delivering to fleet customers this year - in front of European ministers of economic affairs.


Why is it that America is so far behind the rest of the world when it comes to electric cars? I will give you my opinion on this, it all stems from greed! Our government is so driven by greed that the president can openly bribe a congressman with ever he or she wants and change their vote on health care. The oil companies and other big business run this country not the people. America can and should be the world leader in electric vehicle development but then our poor government officials from the top down would have to live on their government pay. We can’t expect them to do that now can we? I am sure not all presidents, vice presidents, both house members, senators and everyone else in Washington DC are not on the take. There has to be at least 2% who are honest. We should find them and make them president and start from there to rebuild our government.


Taxi or commercial vehicle supply will not meet demand. Battery pack to battery pack charging will beat the charge time delay. Just needs an international standard and protocol to implement this as a power cord plug standard for regular power sources already exists.

George Wilson
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