Advertisement

Black cabs up to 30 times more polluting than cars

Research finds the most common London taxis emit up to 30 times as much NOx as personal petrol cars of the same age

London Taxi Company - new taxis

The most common models of the iconic London black cab emit up to 30 times the amount of NOx as personal petrol cars of the same age, according to emissions experts.

The data from The Real Urban Emissions Initiative (TRUE) shows average NOx emissions per kilogram of fuel used from black cabs have increased over the past five years. The research also suggests Euro 5 black cabs are producing at least 50 per cent more NOx than older Euro 3 and 4 models.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Meter glitch halts new London black cab rollout

TRUE’s findings came from measurements of real-world NOx, particulate and CO2 emissions from more than 100,000 vehicles – including taxis and buses – on the streets of London. The data was acquired using in-vehicle portable emissions measurement systems (PEMS) and well as remote sensing, which sees light beams shone through vehicles’ exhaust fumes.

The negative ratings for black cabs can be expected to change with the recent introduction of the electric LEVC TX. The latest generation of London taxi is powered by a battery pack and a small range-extending petrol engine, making it effectively zero emission in most circumstances.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

London Taxi Company loses appeal to trademark black cab shape

As for standard passenger cars, it was revealed Euro 5 models and older are responsible for 60 per cent of Greater London’s NOx emissions from that vehicle type.

Meanwhile, the capital’s Euro 5 and Euro 6 diesel cars produce, on average, six times more NOx than the equivalent petrol models. In contrast, average NOx emissions from London’s bus fleet have fallen 65 per cent in the last five years.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Black cabs to map London for future autonomous cars under new deal

Commenting on the data, London’s Mayor, Sadiq Khan, who recently announced a van scrappage scheme for small business owners, said: "We all need to play a part in cleaning up our toxic air and while I am encouraged that almost 1,000 taxi drivers have switched to cleaner electric taxis, this damning report really highlights why we need to accelerate their uptake."

In a statement, LEVC said it "has invested £500m to achieve the best-possible emission standards in developing the latest generation of London taxis".

It added: "More than a thousand LEVC electric taxis are now on the road in the UK and we are confident of further significant expansion of the fleet over the next few years. These new vehicles will gradually replace existing diesel taxis and we have tabled a number of proposals to the Mayor’s Office aimed at speeding up this transition so we can meet the Mayor’s target to have 9,000 electric taxis in London by the end of 2020."

Should more be done to encourage cab drivers to upgrade their vehicles? Let us know your thoughts in the comments...

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

New 2020 Ford Puma ST teased for the first time
Ford Puma

New 2020 Ford Puma ST teased for the first time

The sporty new Ford Puma ST will make its debut later this year, with the same 197bhp 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine as the Fiesta ST
3 Jul 2020
New Skoda Octavia vRS line-up completed as petrol and diesel models arrive
Skoda Octavia vRS Hatchback

New Skoda Octavia vRS line-up completed as petrol and diesel models arrive

Skoda has unwrapped the complete Octavia line-up, which now offers a choice of petrol, diesel or plug-in hybrid powertrains
3 Jul 2020
New Vauxhall Corsa-e 2020 review
Vauxhall Corsa-e hatchback

New Vauxhall Corsa-e 2020 review

The all-electric Vauxhall Corsa-e boasts up to 134bhp and a 209-mile range, but rivals offer better value for money
3 Jul 2020