Zero emission taxis planned for London by 2018

Mayor of London unveils plans to have all new taxis registered from 2018 to be ‘zero emission capable’

All new taxis registered to operate in London will have to be ‘zero emission capable’ by 2018, under plans unveiled by Mayor of London Boris Johnson today (January 16).

The vehicles will automatically operate in zero emission mode while in areas where the capital’s air quality is at its worst. The plans were unveiled by the Mayor at an event organised by Transport or London (TfL) in the capital today (January 16).

Mayor of London Boris Johnson at the 'New Taxis for London' event today (January 16

Mayor of London Boris Johnson at the ‘New Taxis for London’ event today (January 16

Speaking at the ‘New Taxis for London’ event, Mr Johnson, said: “The London taxi is iconic in so many ways — not least in terms of its eye-catching looks and the way it is piloted by wily experts who know the capital like the back of their hand.

“To date its one Achilles heel, particularly of older models, has been the pollution generated by chugging diesel engines.

“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.

“The cleaner, greener vehicles I’ve seen today are proof that the evolution of the great London cab is well and truly underway.”


It was also revealed that TfL and the London Mayor’s office are in discussion with the government’s Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and the Green Investment Bank to discuss financial options to encourage the take up of low emission taxis in the capital

TfL claims that road transport is responsible for around 80% of airborne pollution in parts of central London where air quality is at its worst, with black cabs contributing to 30% of particulate matter emissions in those areas.

Garrett Emmerson, TfL surface transport chief operating officer, said: “We will continue to work closely with taxi manufacturers to get ‘New Taxis for London’ carrying passengers on the streets of the capital as soon as possible. The manufacturers at this event today are clearly well advanced in delivering the next generation of green taxi.

“We believe these vehicles will be available well in advance of the challenging deadline set today by the Mayor.

“We are also working with the wider industry and the Green Investment Bank to provide assistance to cab drivers who want to be among the first to get behind the wheel of these cutting edge vehicles that will significantly contribute to improving air quality in the capital as well as delivering benefits to cabbies themselves in terms of reducing running costs.”


The news follows a pledge the Mayor made last year to introduce an Ultra Low Emission Zone in central London by 2020 (see story).

Since then TfL has been exploring ways to introduce the scheme in 2020 and have focused on the development of options.

Further engagement on the options for an Ultra Low Emission Zone will be undertaken this year.


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