Nissan joins London’s black cab race
LONDON, Aug 7 — London’s 300,000 daily black cab users will have a new taxi to ride in from next year after Japanese carmaker Nissan yesterday unveiled its vision for the capital’s black cab of the future.
Nissan says its vehicle — based on its multi-purpose NV200 compact van — is up to 50 per cent more fuel-efficient than London’s existing black cabs, and cuts carbon dioxide emissions in half, in line with London mayor Boris Johnson’s plans to improve the capital’s air quality.
Due to go on sale next year, the London version of NV200, which is essentially the same van-based vehicle announced last year as New York’s next city taxi, is powered by a 1.5-litre diesel engine and seats up to five adults, said Nissan.
The engine could save the average London cab driver up to £1,000 (RM5,000) a year in fuel costs, according to Nissan. Transport for London estimates there are around 22,000 black cabs on London’s streets.
“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,” said Steve McNamara, the general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association.
“If the fuel consumption figures are as promised, it will be a big seller.”
The new vehicle will compete with the classic LTI taxi and a new Mercedes black cab.
Nissan, which expects the NV200 to receive full London Taxi certification later this year, said an all-electric version of the car would undergo trials in London next year.
Nissan previously supplied the diesel engine to the iconic 1989 FX4 Fairway taxi and its successor, the TX.
“The ‘black cab’ is as much a part of the London landscape as Big Ben,” Andy Palmer, Nissan’s executive vice-president, said.
“The NV200 is a great step forward for providing a transport solution that is good for both its users and other city inhabitants.” — Reuters