Clean taxi solution enters final phase

Low emission taxis in London has moved a step closer after a programme to re-power them from diesel to LPG entered its final phase.

If successful, the programme would enable an immediate switch to LPG, providing a cleaner, interim solution before the full introduction of electric taxis.

The programme, from Autogas, is now in the final assessment stage with Transport for London, which includes a 10,000-mile technology assessment to recreate the same conditions and typical drive cycles it will eventually encounter when in–service.

‘Entering the final phase of its assessment by TfL is a significant milestone for our TX2 cab and brings the prospect of LPG taxis on the streets of London one step closer to reality,, said Paul Oxford, business development manager at Autogas. ‘London, like many other cities and towns across the UK, has a major air quality problem, largely as a result of NOx emissions and particulate matter from diesel vehicles. Giving taxi drivers an immediate and viable opportunity to switch to a fuel source that is much cleaner than diesel will not only help improve local air quality, but it will also extend the usable life of their cab for another five years and save them around £200 a month in fuel costs, so it really is a win-win situation for everyone.’

Under the scheme, older TX2 taxis will have their diesel engine replaced with a General Motors sourced, 2 litre petrol engine with full LPG conversion. The engine mapping is designed to mimic the characteristics of the original diesel engine, providing complete familiarity for drivers, yet reducing harmful NOx emissions by 80% and particulate matter by 99%.

Paul continued, ‘If successful, London will follow the lead of Birmingham who has already introduced more than 60 LPG powered taxis onto its streets in a bid to clean up air quality. With many private and public sector organisations such as the Metropolitan Police stating that they will no longer add diesel vehicles to their fleet, I’m sure many other councils around the country will be watching with great interest our taxi project developments in both Birmingham and London.’

Councils and other organisations around the UK wishing to find out more about how they can improve their local air quality through the introduction of LPG-powered black cabs can find out more by visiting www.autogaslimited.co.uk/taxi-drivers.