Nissan has unveiled a 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.
An all-electric e-NV200 concept is also set to undergo trials in the Capital.
The Mayor has joined disability groups and the influential London Taxi Drivers’ Association in welcoming the launch of the Nissan NV200 London Taxi.
Taxi versions of the NV200 have already been unveiled in Tokyo and it has also been chosen as the New York City ‘Taxi of tomorrow’.
Steve McNamara, general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association, said: “Nissan already has a great footing in the London taxi market – the 2.7-litre diesel that featured in some of the early taxis was one of the greatest engines ever put in a cab. From what I’ve seen of the NV200 London Taxi, it ticks all the right boxes. It’s important that it looks like a cab, is comfortable with good ingress and egress and is reliable. If the fuel consumption figures are as promised, it will be a big seller.”
Alan Norton, from Assist UK, said: “Assist UK is proud to be associated with Nissan in the development of an accessible taxi to meet the needs of all disabled people. We have had the opportunity to bring together experts from all fields of disability to work with designers to ensure the vehicle will work for all of their transport needs. The work is ongoing and future refinements are planned after the initial launch, as many ideas have been discussed and are currently undergoing development. We congratulate Nissan for its initiative and wish it every success with its project.”
The diesel version of the 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.
With a focus on improving air quality in the city, the NV200 London Taxi’s Euro V engine emits up to 138g/km of CO2, compared with 209g/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, or two Congestion Charge zones, 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.
An all electric version could have an even bigger impact on London’s air quality. Having been the first car manufacturer to mass produce a 100% electric family car with its trail-blazing Nissan LEAF, Nissan could cement its place at the forefront of motoring technology with the introduction of an all-electric e-NV200 London Taxi.
Discussions with all the stakeholders will continue to try and make an e-NV200 a realistic proposition by increasing investment in charging infrastructure.
Subject to final testing, including a crash-test, the diesel-powered Nissan NV200 aims to receive full London Taxi certification later this year.
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, 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."
Andy Palmer, executive vice president of Nissan, said: “Nissan is proud to be delivering a 21st century vision for one of London’s most iconic vehicles. The ‘black cab’ is as much a part of the London landscape as Big Ben and, whilst there will always be a place for that familiar silhouette, the Nissan NV200 London Taxi focuses as much attention on its interior as the exterior – a better experience for drivers and passengers.”
He continued: “The design process for the NV200 London Taxi was exhaustive and will be further improved. In addition to ensuring drivers would be comfortable spending extended hours behind the wheel, we’ve had to consider every user for this vehicle – there are no specific customer profiles in the back of a London cab. Adults, children, business professionals, foreign visitors, disabled travellers – they’re all potential customers. We’ve even considered those who might never get inside the taxi but who will benefit from features such as the model’s lower CO2 emissions or the un-obstructing sliding doors.
“The Nissan NV200 is a global taxi, launching in the biggest and brightest cities in the world. Safe, comfortable, efficient and convenient – it’s a great step forward for providing a transport solution that is good for both its users and other city inhabitants.”