All new London taxis must be zero emission capable from 2018
The plans have been revealed at Transport for London’s (TFL) “New Taxis for London” event today (16th January), which sees the Mayor and five companies – Frazer-Nash, Nissan, Karsan, London Taxi Company and Mercedes – meet up to start work in the race to develop the next generation of greener London taxis, including both plug-in full series hybrid vehicles and full electric models.
Under the plans, the expectation is that the taxis would automatically operate in zero emission mode while in areas where the Capital’s air quality is at its worst such as parts of central London. This will be subject to a full public consultation in 2014.
The news follows a pledge the Mayor made last year to introduce an Ultra Low Emission Zone in central London by 2020.
To assist taxi drivers and encourage the early adoption of the new greener vehicles before the 2018 deadline, the Mayor and TfL are now exploring a number of supporting measures with the Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and are in discussion with the Green Investment Bank around financial options.
Garrett Emmerson, TfL surface transport chief operating officer, said: ‘We will continue to work closely with taxi manufacturers to get “New Taxis for London” carrying passengers on the streets of the Capital as soon as possible. The manufacturers at this event today are clearly well advanced in delivering the next generation of green taxi. We believe these vehicles will be available well in advance of the challenging deadline set today by the Mayor.'
Earlier this month, Nissan unveiled its electric London taxi, which will be available alongside a petrol-powered version in 2015.