London Electric Cab

Published: 18/01/2021 By Allan Fuller

Electric London Cabs are nothing new.  The Bersey Electric Cab (also known as the London Electrical Cab) was an early electric-powered vehicle and the first electric taxi cab in London. Developed by Walter Bersey the vehicles reportedly had a top speed of 12 mph (19 km/h) and could carry two passengers. An initial service of 12 cabs began on 19 August 1897 and a total of 77 were built, with a maximum of 75 in service at once. 

They were initially popular and were nicknamed "hummingbirds" for the sound they made and their distinctive livery. The vehicles suffered badly from wear in service owing to their heavy weight. This damaged the batteries and tyres, which were expensive to replace, and made their operation unprofitable. The cabs were withdrawn in August 1899 and electric cabs did not return to the streets of London until the Nissan Dynamo was introduced in October 2019.