Times are hard for London’s cabbies: rising fuel prices, insurance payments and emissions reductions are not appeasing the notoriously disgruntled workforce of the Capital’s iconic transport.
It looks like a typical people carrier used by many of the private cab hire firms, but it has been designed from the ground up for the purpose of ferrying Londoners and tourists alike around the city.
The electric power source of the NV200 London Taxi is more efficient and more environmentally considerate than current ‘black cab’ models, while delivering more space and convenience for occupants, including a lighter cabin via its sunroof. A particular focus has been placed on providing access for passengers with mobility issues, with disability groups heralding the arrival of a much more friendly mode of transport.
The Nissan also has the same 25ft turning circle needed for executing a U-turn, the ideal manoeuvre for threatening the safety of cyclists and a requirement from 1906 to ensure cabs could turn outside London’s Savoy hotel without reversing.
With the recent hot weather showing the true quality of London’s air quality to be ‘a bit smoggy’, the lack of emissions from the new taxis should go someway to helping clean up the problem.
Bumbling soundbite merchant, and Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “Improving air quality in London is one of the most important challenges I face as Mayor. Having taken the significant step of introducing the first age limit for taxis in London, I am absolutely delighted that manufacturers are stepping up to the plate and are responding to the challenge I set in my air quality strategy to reduce taxi emissions and improve efficiency. I look forward to when a fully competitive model comes to market.”
The only immediate gripe for London’s cabbies is the lack of charging points around the city, which is sure to be of a priority as the first of the new Black Cabs hit the streets in 2013.