7.8.2012 Nissan unveils new 'black cab' for London
Nissan has announced a bold new vision for the future of the London 'black cab' and its 300,000 daily users – the Nissan NV200 London Taxi.
The NV200 London Taxi will offer significantly reduced CO2 outputs compared to current taxi models – a focus in line with the Mayor Boris Johnson's Air Quality strategy for London.
In comparison to the current black cabs, the new NV200 London Taxis will save around half the amount of tailpipe CO2 emissions – the switch has been welcomed by Boris Johnson, disability groups and the London Taxi Drivers' Association.
Taxi versions of the NV200 have already been unveiled in Tokyo and it has also been chosen as the exclusive New York City 'Taxi of tomorrow'. An all-electric e-NV200 concept is also set to undergo trials in the Capital in 2013, to test both vehicle performance and customer acceptance of battery electric taxi vehicles.
The diesel Nissan NV200 London Taxi is expected to be competitively priced below the new TX4 – the London Taxi Company's current model – and will be available through a designated 'specialist' Nissan dealer.
Nissan's NV200 also delivers significantly improved running costs compared to alternative London cabs. The model's frugal 1.5 dCi 89 HP Euro V, 6-speed manual drivetrain achieves 53.3 mpg on a combined cycle meaning an almost 50% fuel saving over the most efficient TX4, with its combined cycle figure of 35.3 mpg.
Fuel costs account for around 10% of taxi driver overheads. Over the course of a year, NV200 London Taxi drivers would spend around 50% less – about £700 – on fuel than TX4 drivers.
With a focus on improving air quality in the city, the NV200 London Taxi's Euro V engine only emits up to 138 g/km of CO2, compared with 209 g/km from the 'greenest' TX4 model. As a relevant simulation, if all of London's licensed taxis were replaced with the NV200 London Taxi, there would be a CO2 reduction across London of 37,970 metric tonnes each year – the equivalent of planting 10,000 acres of trees every 12 months.
More importantly, the harmful NOx and PM (particulate) gases on which authorities are seeking particular improvement in 'clean air' legislation, would be reduced by an estimated 135 metric tonnes and 20 metric tonnes per year (based on assumed average CO2 emissions of 240 g/km for current taxi models).
An all-electric version could have an even bigger impact on London's air quality. Based on the success of the LEAF, Nissan could position itself at the forefront of motoring technology with the introduction of an all-electric e-NV200 London Taxi. With running costs estimated to be around one fifth of a conventional diesel-powered Hackney Carriage, an electric vehicle it is likely to be popular with drivers too.
Discussions with all the stakeholders will continue to try and make an e-NV200 a realistic proposition by increasing investment in charging point roll-out and awareness. Subject to final testing, including a crash-test, the diesel-powered Nissan NV200 aims to receive full London Taxi certification later this year.
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