The new Frazer-Nash cab is reputed to cover up to 75 miles on electric power alone
Boris Johnson wants the cabs to be able to operate in “zero emissions mode' on the capital's most heavily polluted road”
Turkish automotive manufacturer Karsan has presented its take on the classic black cab
The taxi, dubbed 'Concept V1', is designed to accept both pure electric and range-extending powertrains
Its dual doors open up to 90 degrees, for easy access
A signalling system on the rear is designed to improve road safety, by alerting those around it to the hazard
The design of the taxi is based on London's iconic black cab
Side lighting illuminates the outline of the doors, making them more visible
Access for those with reduced mobility has been an important consideration
An automated wheelchair ramp can be deployed from either side of the taxi
Seating for five is offered; GPS and internet connections are also part of the design concept
London Taxi International says that its TX4 cab will be offered with a range-extender drivetrain
This RCA styling model suggests what a future London taxi may look like
Three new low-pollution London black cabs were unveiled in the capital this morning as the mayor of London announced stringent environmental regulations for future licensed taxi designs.
British-based engineering company Frazer-Nash showed the new Metrocab, Turkish-based Karsan revealed an engineering prototype and Chinese-owned London Taxi International announced it would build a new-generation of the classic TX4.
All the proposals are powered by range-extender electric drivetrains. Nissan is also likely to show a pure electric prototype of its new London cab towards the end of this year.
Mayor Boris Johnson said that, from 1 January 2018, all new licensed taxis must be capable of running in ‘zero emissions mode’ on the capital’s most polluted roads.
London has some of the most polluted roads in Europe and it’s estimated that today’s 22,000 diesel black cabs are responsible for as much as 30 per cent of all the particulate pollution.
Transport for London (TfL) bosses said that it wanted the new taxis to be available well before the 2018 deadline. In an attempt to speed the shift from today’s ageing fleet, TfL said it is “working with the Green Investment Bank” to help cabbies trade up to one of the new vehicles.
After the public consultation on the Ultra Low Emission Zone, which ends later this year, TfL will then release the exact engineering requirements for the new vehicles, which is expected to specify CO2 and pollution emissions as well as defining accessibility for wheelchairs and prams.
Of the three designs, the Frazer-Nash cab is the nearest to production. The company is about to release a small number of prototypes to London cabbies for real-world testing.
The Metrocab is driven by two 50kW electric motors and uses a compact 12.2kWh battery and has a generator powered by a 1-litre petrol engine. Frazer-Nash claims that the efficiency of its hybrid drivetrain means that the battery – capable of up to 75 miles range – can be recharged by the generator in 10 minutes using around £1.50 in petrol.
The Karsan engineering prototype will also use a range-extender transmission, but the final package and styling is being currently executed by researchers from London’s Royal College of Art.
Niels van Roij, a senior research associate at the RCA’s Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, told Autocar that his team was undertaking in-depth research with taxi drivers and all types of taxi users in order to fine-tune the cab’s features, driving environment and styling.
London Taxi International said the new version of its TX4 cab would get a range-extender drivetrain, be capable of getting a five-star EuroNCAP crash rating as well as having a lower kerb weight thanks to a new chassis design.
Such is the interest in London’s iconic black cab that the presentation near Tower Bridge was attended by TV crews from across the globe.
Last week Nissan unveiled its new London taxi, based on the NV200 van.