New zero-emissions London Black Cab revealed

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The next generation of London’s black cabs has been unveiled by the London Taxi Company.

The new cabs will go on sale in 2017, and will be manufactured at a new £300m plant in Coventry. Named the TX5, the taxis will have six seats, a panoramic glass roof, and space for a forward-facing wheelchair as standard. There’s more leg room for the driver, and for the passengers, power points to charge devices and a wifi hotspot!

As a hybrid, the TX5 will run on a battery until it runs out, and then will have a small petrol engine to kick in until the vehicle can be charged. This works just in time for new regulations that come in January 2018 – requiring all taxis and minicabs in the capital to be capable of zero-emissions driving for at least 30 miles.

During a session of the London Assembly yesterday, London Mayor Boris Johnson said “I want to particularly encourage electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids—they are the way forward”.

Following the VW emissions scandal, zero-emission cars are very topical, along with the upcoming planned ‘Ultra Low Emissions Zone’ that will come into force across London in 2020. Diesel vehicles will be charged an extra surcharge when this starts, but now politicians are discussing the possibility of a complete ban.

London Assembly member Stephen Knight said “The Mayor should admit past mistakes and now say that we are no longer going to put a badge of ‘ultra low-emission’ on a set of vehicles that are in reality nothing of the sort”.

The debate goes on for the ULEZ restrictions, but what do you think of the changes? Should diesel engines be banned, or just charged for? Send us your thoughts at @Liftshare!

Author Lex Barber

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