When London’s classic black taxis were transformed into range-extended electric vehicles, DuPont’s structural and glass bonding expertise played a critical role.
Designers at the London EV Company (LEVC) envisioned the TX5 model with a lightweight, extruded-aluminum body structure. To implement the innovative design of the six-passenger taxi and meet safety standards, they needed comprehensive bonding and adhesive solutions.
We faced a number of key challenges:
Safety and durability
All applications had to meet international vehicle safety standards as well as OEM durability specifications.
Glass bonding applications had to be compatible with the vehicle production process, including cold and warm-applied systems.
Sound and temperature had to be carefully managed to ensure passenger comfort.
From 2018, all new licensed London taxis had to be “zero emissions capable.”
The results of the collaboration between DuPont and LEVC are impressive by any standard. By working closely together, the new black cab now has a fully-bonded body structure that is 30% lighter than an equivalent steel construction. This accomplishment depended entirely on the strength of the adhesive; there are no mechanical fasteners!
The TX5 is capable of:
seating for six
forward-facing wheelchair access
power sockets for laptops, USB ports, and on-board Wi-Fi
active and passive safety systems as standard.
travel up to 80 miles on a single battery charge
Our high-performance solutions were a major factor in enabling LEVC to achieve a fully-bonded body structure that’s stronger and significantly lighter than an equivalent steel construction. In addition to increased safety for passengers, the weight savings also play a part in greater efficiency when the vehicle is in electric mode.
A combination of our BETAMATE™ products were used to, reduce weight, negate the need for mechanical fasteners, and help reduce substrate thickness.
BETAFORCE™ composite bonding adhesives, BETASEAL™ glass bonding systems, BETAPRIME™ primers, BETAWIPE™ cleaners and BETAFILL™ sealers also were used to Integrate the different parts of the TX5’s lightweight bonded extruded aluminum monocoque body-in-white, enabling the chassis, brackets, posts, roof, and fixed glass to become a single structural unit. Our products also filled gaps and finish seams helping prevent moisture intrusion that can lead to corrosion and providing acoustical and thermal management benefits.
But this is just the beginning; DuPont and LEVC have already started work on the next generation of electric London Black Taxis.