London black cabs maker raises $400m to fund development of its hybrid TX5 model
Geely acquired the London Taxi Company from Manganese Bronze in 2013Getty Images

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group which is usually referred to as 'Geely' has raised $400m (£275.72m, €356.38m) via the sale of five-year "green bonds". Geely is a Chinese firm, which owns the London Taxi Company, the manufacturer behind UK's black cabs.

Geely said the funds would be used in the development of its hybrid TX5 model of black cab. While this model is based on Austin's classic 1958 FX5 car, the Chinese firm added that its new fleet of greener taxis should be ready to hit the roads in 2017.

The hybrid model will be manufactured in a new factory in Ansty, near Coventry, a location known for making black cabs for decades. Geely added that about £300m will be spent on the facility which will house both research and production units.

The move to introduce such cars which are gentler on the environment follows introduction of zero emissions measures by Boris Johnson, the former London mayor. The measures require all cabs in the UK capital to be able to operate without emitting any waste product that pollutes the environment. The move is aimed at cleaning London's air, according to the Guardian.

Geely, which exports cabs to Azerbaijan, Australia and several countries in the Middle East, said it has the capacity to manufacture 36,000 taxis a year. It added that these would be up for sale in the UK and around the world.

"We're going to do a clean taxi not only for the UK market, but it's going to be a global product that we can definitely grow to help reduce emissions and provide a cleaner environment for everybody," Franki Li, chief financial officer at Geely said.

Geely acquired the London Taxi Company from Manganese Bronze in 2013, after the latter went into administration. It had then paid £11m to seal the deal.