Chinese group invests £100m in UK electric taxi production

Chinese group invests £100m in UK electric taxi production

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

The plant in Coventry will be built by car designers CAD CAM Automotive (CCA). The hybrid electric taxis, called MetroCab, will use the Ecotive Vehicle Platform developed by Ecotive in Surrey with UK design consultancy Frazer-Nash

“This is another strong step in Red Sun’s stated ambition to becoming China and the world’s pioneer in new technology, independent innovation and industrial models,” said Yang Shou Hai, President of Red Sun Group. “This investment on top of the £300m already announced will lead to the production of billions of pounds worth of cars and commercial vehicles in the years to come.”

Ecotive worked with Frazer-Nash Research which has been developing its Range-Extended Electric (REE) Powertrain over two decades. Frazer-Nash designed lithium-ion battery packs are used in the Metrocab as well as the battery management system which keeps the cells in optimum condition.

The Range Extender is a compact internal combustion engine coupled to a matched generator. The electricity generated charges the battery pack and can also be diverted to power the electric motors. A ‘Digital Differential’ replaces the mechanical differential and eliminates the mechanical losses associated with conventional drive trains. This gives improved motor control, traction and performance, says Ecotive.

Although Metrocab is fully self-charging while in normal operation, a Portable Electric Vehicle Supply Extension (EVSE) is also available for local charging from a domestic mains socket.

“This marks an important day as the Ecotive Vehicle Platform moves towards full production, firstly through the MetroCab. We look forward to working closely with both Red Sun Group and CCA as we head towards production of our revolutionary cab,” said Gérard Lopez, Executive Chairman of Ecotive.

The site will also benefit from recent UK goverment investment in battery technology and charging networks. 

“Through our modern Industrial Strategy, the government is committed to building an automotive sector that is fit for the future that leads the way in low-emission vehicle production. Today’s investment is further evidence of the UK’s strength in developing electric vehicle technology and highlights the significant innovation within the Midlands Engine,” said Richard Harrington, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for Business and Industry. “Our Automotive Sector Deal announced in January committed £400m towards building new charging infrastructure for electric vehicles as well as another £200m for advanced battery technology.”

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