A heritage which started in the professional taxi trade has, over the decades, seen us build commercial vehicles with an unrivalled blend of performance, functionality and craftsmanship.
Though our name has changed over time, the core principles at the heart of our vehicles remain unchanged: purpose-built to withstand the demands of the job, focused on reliability, comfortable working conditions and the best occupant experience.
Now, backed by world-renowned Geely and enriched with the knowledge and experience from our past, we continue to innovate with purposeful engineering at the heart of all our vehicles, as we transition to become the leading European green commercial mobility solutions provider.
Having formed Mann and Overton’s Garage years earlier, London taxicab dealers JJ Mann and Tom Overton begin importing vehicles to Britain from France and Germany, for sale into the London cab trade.
In 1908 the two commissioned a special model cab from Unic 12/16hp, which was specially designed to meet the new London regulations, the Conditions of Fitness - introduced two years prior.
It is to this model that LEVC can trace its roots. By 1914 it had become the most common taxi on London’s streets.
Mann and Overton commission Austin Motor Company to design and build a new taxi chassis, the FX.
Austin arrange with coach building company Carbodies - formed by Bobby Jones in 1919 in Coventry, UK - to build the cab with an all-steel body.
Mann and Overton, Austin and Carbodies sign a deal to make the taxi at Carbodies’ factory in Coventry, with cabs sold around the country.
Affordable, durable and reliable, it was an immediate success. The origin of the expression ‘black cab’ began with the introduction of the third iteration of the FX, the FX3 taxi cab, which launched in 1948.
Planning of the FX4 began in 1956, with the vehicle introduced two years later.
To commemorate the 25th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's accession to the throne in 1977, a special Silver Jubilee FX4 was built and presented to HRH The Prince of Wales.
Prince Charles drove around Buckingham Palace in Britain's only Silver Jubilee taxi, with the taxi's official driver, Ted Ritchie, in the rear passenger compartment. The vehicle was used free of charge at fundraising events for the Queen's Silver Jubilee appeal, and then continued operating as a normal working taxi.
Manganese Bronze Holdings Plc acquires Carbodies in 1972, then later acquire Mann and
Overton and form London Taxis International (LTI) in 1985.
When production of the Austin diesel
engine ceased, Carbodies introduced a new Nissan diesel engine and released the Fairway in 1989.
The Fairway was the best-selling version of the FX4, and was the first vehicle produced by LTI to feature built-in wheelchair accessibility - in the form of a fully retractable wheelchair ramp.
To this day it is the vehicle which many still think of as 'The' London taxi.
The first new generation taxi in almost 40 years is introduced, TX1.
The TXI name was intended as a play on the word Taxi, while the ‘1’ denoted compliance with the Euro 1 emissions standard.
The vehicle took just 28 months to design and put into production, bringing saloon car standards of comfort, safety and refinement to the driver’s working environment.
TXII was Euro 2 compliant and incorporated a Ford engine in order to meet the emissions standards of the time.
Improvements included a passive anti-theft system, fully integrated into the engine management system, and full width glass in the rear doors, which had restricted opening to reduce the possibility of passengers who wanted to avoid paying their fare by escaping through the window.
In September 2006, MBH announces a joint venture with Chinese car maker Geely Auto - China's largest privately owned automotive manufacturer - to build a factory in Shanghai and produce taxis for the Chinese and other overseas markets.
Introduced in 2007, the TX4 featured a more efficient engine, updated design and suspension. It was Euro 4 compliant and evolved to becomes Euro 5 and 6 compliant as these regulation were introduced.
In November 2010 the name Mann & Overton was removed after over a century and the company name is changed to The London Taxi Company (LTC).
Our vehicles proudly featured centre stage in the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics, alongside the Spice Girls, who performed standing atop specially prepared taxis.
2013 saw the company change ownership. Geely - which already owned 20 per cent of the black cab maker - acquired the business and the principal assets from Manganese Bronze Holdings.
The year saw further investment, with significant improvements to the manufacturing facilities in Coventry and the creation of approximately 66 new jobs. Geely Group Chairman Li Shufu and Business Secretary Vince Cable were present to officially start of production, commencing the build of new TX4 models.
British Prime Minister David Cameron met with Geely Chairman Li Shufu, in Shanghai during a state visit in China.
Mr Cameron and Chairman Li’s discussion focused on the company's production, global sales and future development plans.
Evolution becomes revolution. LEVC - the London EV Company is born; a name which respects our heritage and dedicates our future to new energy vehicles.
LEVC embark upon a journey to design, develop and produce the next generation of green commercial vehicles, starting with an all-new taxi; followed by an ambitious commercial vehicle strategy, which seeks to create a seamless portfolio of electric vehicles for markets across the world.
LEVC's new global headquarters opened in Ansty, Coventry in 2017. Standing alone as the UK's only dedicated electric vehicle manufacturing plant, it represents an investment of more than £500m to date.
Housing a research and development centre, as well as manufacturing, quality and testing facilities, it also stands as a centre of competence for lightweight aluminium production, and EV technology, within the Geely Commercial Vehicles Group.
A prototype of the forthcoming TX electric taxi made history at the Goodwood Festival Of Speed in 2017, by becoming the first taxi ever to make the infamous 'Hill climb'.
Designed, engineered and built in the Britain, the world’s first zero-emissions capable electric taxi went on sale in January '18.
TX, the latest Black Cab sets the benchmark for green urban mobility. Powered by revolutionary eCity range-extended technology, TX is capable of 100% zero-emissions urban operation, and true operational flexibility.
LEVC proudly hosted HRH The Prince of Wales, who learned about our new company and vision, before embarking upon a tour of the factory.
Prince Charles took his time meeting apprentices and senior operatives, who explained the precise engineering and controls which occur throughout our entire production process. HRH was pleased to see young people being encouraged to pursue manufacturing as a career option through our apprenticeship schemes.
In the main reception, staff gathered to watch as HRH unveiled a unique plaque commemorating the Royal visit.
A new chapter in our illustrious history was written, when Joerg Hofmann took over as CEO on 4th February 2019, with full responsibility for LEVC under the Geely Commercial Vehicle division.
Joerg brings with him significant sales & marketing, product planning, production and international experience having worked for GM and luxury car brand Audi for 17 years in various roles including running operations in Brazil and Australia.
Based on the electric taxi and featuring the same eCity Technology, TX Shuttle was launched. It offers mobility and shuttle services the opportunity to specify the vehicle to their own unique needs, building features as required for their business use. This makes TX Shuttle ideal for on-demand public transport and taxi services across Europe and the rest of the world.
LEVC welcomed Prime Minister Boris Johnson to tour state-of-the-art facility. CEO Joerg Hofmann hosted the Prime Minister, who was highly supportive of the business and products, describing the TX electric taxis as "magnificent machines".
LEVC celebrated a record sales year, thanks to month-on-month growth in 2019, delivering an impressive 2,507 sales of its electric TX model and more than doubling the volume of the previous year.
The TX has not only proved successful in London but across the UK and overseas too, with growing demand from taxi operators and ride sharing shuttle services in Germany, France, Switzerland, Denmark, Middle East and Japan.
LEVC launches the first in a line of new commercial electric vehicles.
VN5 stands ready to revolutionise the medium-sized van sector. Powered by eCity Technology, it is the perfect solution in green logistics, featuring astonishing durability, great carrying capacity, a total electrically-driven range of more than 300 miles - made possible by the range-extender.