An LPG powered TX2 Taxi will face a final round of assessment with TfL, to prove its worth as a low-emission alternative to traditional diesel models.
If the programme succeeds it will provide the opportunity to re-power many of the Capital’s iconic black taxis from highly-polluting diesel vehicles to run on cleaner LPG in a bid to significantly reduce harmful NOx emissions and improve air quality.
Autogas’ LPG powered taxi has now started its final 10,000 mile technology assessment on the streets of London to recreate the same conditions and typical drive cycles it will eventually encounter when in–service.
“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,” said Paul Oxford, business development manager at Autogas Limited.
Under the scheme, older TX2 taxis will have their diesel engine replaced with a General Motors sourced, two-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 90%.
The final phase of TfL’s testing will see the taxi run double-shifted around the clock, similar to that of many taxis in normal operation, only without carrying any fee paying passengers. Once the 10,000 mile assessment is completed, the vehicle will return to MIRA for final testing and approval before being made available to the capital’s cabbies.
“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,” added Oxford.