Warren Buffett enters London taxi industry

Updated 13.19

A company part-owned by Warren Buffett is set to release an all-electric London taxi fleet.

Chinese car maker BYD, which is 9.9% owned by Buffett, will launch a fleet of 20 cabs operated by taxi firm Thriev.

This comes shortly after London Mayor Boris Johnson announced the 2018 deadline for all new taxis to be zero-emission.

“Londoners are typically early adopters to new technology… and we are very happy to be first and beat the deadline by a few years. This is where the electric vehicle technology will shine,” Isbrand Ho, managing director of BYD Europe told the Financial Times.

“Look at Boris, he rides a bike to work,” said Ho. “London is at the forefront of zero emission. It is doing the right thing.”

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Readers' comments (4)

  • These vehicles are NOT taxis! Taxis are funny looking black vehicles with eer 'taxi' on an illuminated light at the front! These are minicabs, normal saloon cars.
    The first green taxi, a Frazer Nash Metrocab goes on trial in London in March, the first full production green cab will be the Nissan NV200e. full electric taxi.
    Take up on both these vehicles will be slow because TfL have not provided one single rapid charger within 6 miles of charing cross. A fleet of electric taxis will need 50kw rapid chargers and there are none!
    Interestingly all taxis will have to be zero emission capable by 2018 and at the moment there are no vehicles available yet the 60,000 minicabs will not, and they have a choice of over 30 zero emission capable vehicles today! They predominately choose to buy diesel vehicles and are incentivised to do so buy tax incentives based on CO2 emissions rather than NOX and PM's which are the problem.

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  • Actually, NOT the first all-electric fleet in London. See www.econnectcars.com.

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  • Thanks for the comments. I believe it is the first one. I couldn't find an example of another all-electric fleet being launched in London, however I have amended the story to take out this detail, as I don't want to cause any confusion

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  • For fear of keeping your readers ill-informed,I would like to shed light on some of the misconceptions expressed in the comment above. I am part of Thriev's team and can assure you that a completely zero-emission fleet has been up and running since September. You can book your own fully electric vehicle here: www.Thriev.com. We have made our operations commercially viable by installing our own state-of-the-art rapid charging infrastructure which is up to 5-10 times faster than conventional chargers.

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