Nissan plans first all-electric taxi using Sunderland-built batteries

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NISSAN has vowed to win the race to build the first all-electric taxi – with the help of its Wearside workforce.

The Japanese car giant yesterday unveiled its new black cab for London, hailing it as a key stepping stone towards the capital’s first all-electric taxi.

Styled at the firm’s Paddington design studios, which also created the top-selling Qashqai and Juke models built at its Washington plant, the new NV200 cab currently has a petrol engine.

However, by the end of 2015, it will have a zero-emission electric motor to combat air pollution in UK cities.

Bosses have confirmed that batteries manufactured at its plant in Washington will be used in the model.

The cab, launched at London’s O2 Arena yesterday, has seating for five, including two flip-down rearward-facing seats, access for wheelchair users and sliding doors to help passengers get in and out in tight spots.

The petrol-engined version of the Nissan will go on sale in the capital in December, costing around £30,000.

Nissan said its key goal was to have its electric version on sale “before any other manufacturer”.

The new model has a 25ft turning circle, enabling it to perform swift manoeuvres.

Parts for the NV200 are being built in Barcelona, but it will be assembled in Britain, at a location yet to be announced, and sold by a Nissan dealer at Canary Wharf in London.