Production of diesel-powered black cabs is to be phased out as a new factory producing electric vehicles comes on stream.

The London Taxi Company has just released the first pictures of the new production line at the plant at Ansty in the West Midlands, which is the result of a £300m investment by its Chinese owners Geely.

The first vehicles will be produced towards the end of this year, and London Taxi Company is aiming to produce 5,000 vehicles a year by 2019.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Li Shufu, chairman of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, said: “China continues to see the UK as a hub for innovation in new energy technology, for manufacturing expertise and for skills.

“This plant, and the related investment, is just one symbol of my own and the wider Chinese confidence in the UK.”

Production of the traditional diesel-powered taxi will be run down at the firm’s Coventry site over the next year.