I did something this morning that people in London haven’t been able to do for – perhaps – 115 years.

My phone pinged into life at 7.00am telling me my cab was on its way and by 7.45am I was being driven into central London in a Transport for London-registered BYD E6 electric mini cab.

By a bizarre coincidence, I was in Hong Kong last March when these Chinese BYD E6 cars were added to the local taxi fleet. Hong Kong, like many Asian cities, has low-pollution taxi fleets, using old-school Toyota saloons powered by compressed natural gas (CNG).

Arguably, Hong Kong would struggle to seriously improve on the tailpipe pollution levels its current taxi fleet enjoys, the area suffering far more from pollution generated by local coal-fired power stations and factories on the Chinese mainland.