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Forget Black Cabs: This Year We’re Going Green

January 21, 2014

Nissan’s answer to the black cab was revealed a couple of weeks ago – and we think it’s the right answer. Based on their NV200 van platform, the new ‘Taxi for London’ claims a number of advantages over its predecessor, the traditional TX4 Black cab – most notably lower running costs, less carbon emissions and a level of reliability ‘that comes from being derived from a global mainstream vehicle’ (rather than the low-production, ageing model we’ve become accustomed to).

 

But this got us thinking – since taxis are some of the most used, most driven vehicles in the country, shouldn’t they all be greener to keep Mother Nature happy? Well, it seems Boris Johnson had precisely the same brainwave.

The Mayor of London announced his new guidelines for a greener taxi at the Transport for London’s (TfL) ‘New Taxi for London’ event, and is hoping that these guidelines will lead to the requirement of all London taxis to be zero-emission capable by the start of 2014.

Boris said, ’As part of my mission to improve our air quality and drive innovation, I’m making a firm pledge to Londoners that, from 2018, all taxis presented for licensing should be zero emission capable.’ Basically, the plan is that taxis will be zero emission capable, but not forced to operate in this mode all of the time – this mode would only be enabled when in the most polluted areas of the capital.

Nissan wasn’t the only manufacturer getting in on the action, mind. Four other carmakers presented their version of what we’re calling the ‘green cab’ at City Hall – Mercedes-Benz and the London Taxi company being two of them. But we love the styling of the NV200 cab. It looks a lot like a TX4 black cab – with the rounded headlamps and the chromed front grill – but with all the modern gadgets we’ve gotten used to in a purpose-built taxi, like 7 seats and wheelchair accessibility. And you may think the signature flared wheel arches are another nod to the TX4, but Nissan was actually forced to shape the car this way due to a new wider front suspension – creating more space for the wheel to turn, giving it a tighter turning circle to meet the TfL 7.6m turning circle regulation. This new purpose-built is going to be hitting the showrooms this winter – so not long left before we see Bo’Jo’s vision for a greener London edging closer to its completion.

 

After the up-to-date black cabs were revealed Boris stated that ‘the cleaner, greener vehicles [we’ve] seen today are proof that the evolution of the great London cab is well and truly underway’, and we’re inclined to agree. It’s definitely possible – and with big names joining the green initiative, we think it’s certainly something to look out for before this decade rolls on out.

If you’re thinking of going green but need a little help securing the finance for your eco-friendly new wheels, why not let the Car Loan Warehouse fix it for you?

About The Author

Jon Le Roux is co-founder and company director of The Car Loan Warehouse. Being a mad engineering and motorsport enthusiast, I spend more hours than is healthy, watching, reading or talking about cars, boats, motorbikes…..basically anything with an engine.