Most people will be familiar with the London Taxi Company (LTC), and the iconic black cabs that are seen around the city. By the end of Q4 2017, the latest iteration of the taxi – the TX5 – will go on sale but before that, the company is making sure its upcoming vehicle is ready and up to the task.

This involves taking the range-extended electric vehicle to the extreme desert heat of Arizona in the United States. Extreme climate testing is important to prove not just the considerable distance the taxi can cover whilst subjected to demanding conditions, but also that it meets the requirements and climates (including winter) of cities all around the world.

According to LTC, the prototype TX5 successfully undertook daily journeys of 482 km, which is triple the average daily mileage of a typical London cab, and equivalent to driving from Heathrow to central London some 20 times.

The TX5 uses a three-cylinder gasoline engine from Volvo as a generator for a large battery pack, which powers the electric motors. It also offers a pure-EV range of up to 112 km should you rely on a charge from the plug. The electric model was developed to meet new London regulations that will be enforced on January 1, 2018, where any new taxi being presented for approval by the government must be capable of 48 km of electric-only driving and have CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km.

Aside from its powertrain, the TX5 offers sitting for up to six passengers, is fully wheelchair compatible and there’s also a panoramic glass roof, the latter likely not so practical in the desert. Other requirements include luggage capacity located beside the driver and a small turning circle.

“Since announcing this project we have had considerable interest not just from European cities but hot weather cities around the world. To convert this interest into sales we must prove TX5 can perform as well in the 45 °C heat of Dubai as it can in the sub-zero temperatures of the Arctic, and as it does in the changeable conditions of London,” said Chris Gubbey, CEO of the London Taxi Company.

As a refresher, Geely currently owns the British company, and has invested 250 million pounds to develop and manufacture the TX5 at a new factory at Ansty, Coventry, which will also incorporate Geely’s UK R&D headquarters.