Metrocab-13032014-15[1]Metrocab-13032014-16[1](Source:- To advertise in the most independent newspaper. Telephone 01778 391189 Editorial, 01707 885439; article by Mrs.Sandie Goodwin)

Taxi Globe was amongst those invited to the home of the new Metrocab, Fraser Nash Camberley. Having seen the new taxi up close for the first time in January at City Hall, now was the time to take a test drive, as well as experiencing the ride passengers will have. It will be licensed for six passengers. This vehicle is a purpose built range extended electric taxi and not a conversion and even now Metrocab are asking drivers for their thoughts on the design and build and if there are things which would make their working life easier with the taxi. Everyone who drove the taxi on the day was duly impressed with its responsive handling and the powertrain and in the passenger compartment it was comfortable, light and airy. Fraser Nash are not just involved with the Metrocab and have many years experience; the company is at forefront of electric powertrain development. This technology means using batteries as efficiently as possible; this has been seen most recently in vehicles such as Bristol cars, with a showroom in Kensington, as well as a range extended electric monorail known as Metrail. The group also owns Whitfield Solar Panels, an innovative solar system which is also being put to good use charging the cabs at their test track. The company bought Metrocab back in 2004, with the intention of keeping the brand alive. To date the new Metrocab is the cab most ready to come to market to meet the Mayors new 2018 deadline for new cabs to meet the requirement of being zero emission capable. The taxi has two motors on the rear which are linked by software. Regenerative braking means free energy recovery and the software displays on the dashboard display how much energy the taxi has left. But even if this gets low it does not mean having to stop and recharge; there is also a 1 litre petrol engine to run on. Although at the moment Fraser Nash are not saying which engine this might be under the bonnet, it will be extremely efficient. For the owners of the new Metrocab, in real life looking after the batteries correctly will be key to saving money when driving. The cab can be recharged overnight to save more money;it does recharge itself in 8 to 12 minutes via the engine. The motors are brushless sealed units and the life expectancy is around 30 years. The taxi will need a normal mechanical service but there will be minimal wear on brake pads so these will need less attention. No service intervals have been set; the vehicle will say whenever it needs anything. It has predictive maintenance, based on engine hours.

The new Metrocab is an extremely clever vehicle; it knows all about itself thanks to the core technology and so it will always be able to warn the driver of any problems. For example if a bulb blows, the on screen display will tell the driver. A top speed of 80mph is speed restricted and it meets Euro 5 emission requirements. The warranty is yet to be defined, but Fraser Nash is so confident in their product that they assured us that it will be a long warranty. The price will be targeted between the TX4 and the Mercedes Vito. The cab has GPS sensors for location; this means the built in taxi meter can change tariff remotely span style="line-height: 1.6em;">without the need to visit the meter supplier. This meter will be included in the price of cab. Real life road trials with taxi drivers are to start soon and once these have been completed, Metrocab will know if any further changes are needed. It is anticipated that production will commence in 2015-16, subject to the completion of the trials and at that time the appropriate dealer and service network will be appointed.VEHICLE DIMENSIONS
Overall length: ____________ 4,905mm
Overall width: ____________ 1,800mm
Overall height: ____________ 1,925mm
Wheel base: ______________ 3,181mm
Kerb: ____________________ 1,750kg
Gross: ___________________ 2,515kg
Top speed: _________________ 80mph
Max gradient: _________________ 1:3
Emissions: ___________ <50g/km CO2
Turning circle: _______________ 7.62m
(Meets PCO requirement)
Regenerative braking