LONDON - The CEO of Britain's Eco City Vehicles has ambitions to capture half of the black cab market in London with the Mercedes Vito model it sells.

I wouldn't be doing my job if I weren't looking for 50 percent of the market share, ex-cab driver Peter DaCosta told Reuters in an interview. It's not a forecast but an ambition.

The Mercedes-Benz Vito was launched in July 2008, since which point it has taken a 30 percent share of the market, hurting rival Manganese Bronze, which makes the TX models.

Eco City, which sells and services cabs, sold its 500th Vito taxi in December and DaCosta, who held a black cab license for over 40 years, said the company was well on the way to reaching 600.

He added the firm, which is also working on technology to convert commercial vehicles to more eco-friendly hybrid systems, has increased production at its Coventry site and was looking to take on more people to meet demand.

We've had enquiries from all over the place, DaCosta said.

He was also excited about the possibilities offered by a prototype electric black cab unveiled by the firm and its partners earlier this week, but cautioned subsidies would be needed for London taxi drivers to accept it.

You're asking the cab drivers to go out on a limb and invest into it and they need help, he said.

For electric vehicles, the London mayor's got to come up with a scrappage scheme or a scheme where it benefits the driver to outlay that money.