London Wants Cleaner Cabs

Gary S. Vasilash

Although there was certainly controversy when it seemed as though a specific vehicle was going to become the “official” cab of New York City and thereby eliminating the possibility for competing vehicles, consider this: Boris Johnson, the mayor of London announced last week, “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.”

metro4 The man behind the wheel of that EV taxi is London mayor Boris Johnson.  No, that’s not his new day job.

And come 2020, there will be an “Ultra Low Emission Zone” in central London.

Which is to say that the cabs in London are about to go a significant transformation, particularly in the area of powertrain.

One vehicle that meets the forthcoming requirements was publically unveiled at the time of Johnson’s announcement, the Metrocab, produced by Ecotive and Frazer-Nash.

The vehicle has a 12.2-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that’s used to power 50-kW motors in each of the two rear wheels.

metro1 This EV is designed, engineered and built in the U.K.

Speaking of the British designed, engineered and manufactured vehicle, Sir. Charles Masefield, chairman, Metrocab, stated, “The new Metrocab looks very much at home on the streets in today’s test-rides – like a true next generation London taxi.”

The vehicle is also available with a l-liter gasoline engine that is used as a range extender (i.e., the engine runs to power a generator). While not zero-emissions, it is said to be rated a <50 g/km CO2.