The Chinese automaker wants to make the London Taxi Company greener.

Geely and its subsidiary, the London Taxi Company, raised $400 million by selling a green bond to fund bringing the TX5 (above) plug-in hybrid cab to the road. The next-generation of London’s famous black cab should starting ferrying passengers in 2017.

Geely says some of the cash will go into its 300 million pound ($435 million at current exchange rates) investment for a new research and production facility for the London Taxi Company. The money will also fund the development and production of other future vehicles. According to the Chinese automaker, the London Taxi Company will introduce “several zero-emission model concepts” in the coming years, including light commercial vehicles.

The London Taxi Company unveiled the TX5’s design in London in October 2015. It looks practically identical to the classic black cab, but the modern powertrain largely remains a mystery, especially the hybrid system’s capability. For now, Geely only says the batteries can run the vehicle for an “extended period.”

Geely and the London Taxi Company’s next step will be getting the TX5 on the road. According to Bloomberg, the automakers will begin work on a prototype version in the next two weeks. With so little time before a planned launch in the fourth quarter of 2017, the companies will have to work hard to have the vehicle ready on schedule.

Companies like Geely use green bonds to offer investors a way to put money into environmentally friendly projects. The Chinese automaker’s venture proved extremely popular, too. The company claimed it could have raised over $2.3 billion based on the number of buyers that registered interest in the enterprise.

Source: Geely, Bloomberg

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