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BYD e6 brings pure-electric option to greentomatocars' fleet

Chinese car manufacturer BYD and greentomotocars, London's second-largest minicab firm, have announced a partnership that will see up to 50 of BYD's e6 electric vehicles brought into use as taxis on the London streets.

The five-seat BYD e6 is a crossover vehicle designed to provide a spacious interior, perfect for the private hire market, with substantial legroom and headroom for passengers as well as ample luggage capacity. It's the powertrain that is of most interest, however: as a pure-electric vehicle, it offers zero emissions from its 75kW motor and uses an iron phosphate (Fe) battery to provide a maximum range of 186 miles per charge in urban conditions. Its top speed is 87mph and, as is common with electric-motor vehicles, provides its peak torque right from the go for snappy acceleration.

The deal with BYD isn't greentomatocars' first move to reduce its environmental impact: when the company launched as a five-car start-up, it used Toyota's then-unpopular Prius as its main vehicle. "We played a major role in making the Prius popular", claimed greentomatocars' managing director Jonny Goldstone at the signing of the deal. "Given the scale, experience and high-tech infrastructure we now have at our disposal, we’d love to 'do a Prius' with the e6, and help propel electric vehicles into the automotive mainstream - where they deserve and, for all our sakes, need to be."

The deal has been welcomed by London & Partners, the Mayor's official promotional organisation for London, and by Boris Johnson directly. "It is my aim that London's minicabs and taxis will be zero-emission by 2020, which will have a major impact on air quality", Johnson claimed. "Every year the fleet is getting cleaner, making our city an even more attractive place to live, work and visit. Encouraging many more electric vehicles is a key part of this transformation, so it is great news that greentomatocars has committed to operating 50 of these super clean machines from next year."

The first 50 vehicles will enter greentomatocars' 300-strong fleet early next year, with the first customer use expected to occur in the second quarter of 2013.

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