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A new pilot fleet of electric Metrocabs has hit the streets of London, after authorities approved the first range extended electric taxi for fare paying service.

Measuring 4.9 metres long, 1.8m wide and 1925mm tall, and sitting on a 3.18m wheelbase, the new Metrocab design can seat either six or seven passengers.

The Metrocab is powered by two 50kW/1400Nm electric motors fed a 12.2kWh lithium-ion pack. This can be recharged by either the on-board 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, which acts solely as a generator unit, or via a wall outlet, although the company has yet to indicate how long it takes to fully recharge the cab’s batteries.

Pedal to the metal, the electric Metrocab can hit an electronically limited top speed of 129km/h (80mph). The company claims an electric-only driving range of over 80km, and a combined petrol and electric range of over 560km.

All of the pilot range extended Metrocabs are fitted out with a touchscreen display, a TV screen for passengers, a USB port, Bluetooth hands-free, panoramic glass roof, mood lighting, an air suspension system and wheelchair access..

As with London’s other black cabs, drivers of the electric Metrocab have to pass an exhaustive knowledge test laid out by Transport for London.