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London Cracks Down on Taxi Emissions

The City of London has implemented new, stricter emissions standards that apply to the entire taxi fleet. Taxis are currently estimated to be responsible for 18% of the NOx and 34% of the PM10 road transport emissions in central London.

All vehicles at Pre-Euro and Euro-1 emissions levels (i.e., the oldest vehicles), will now have to present themselves for their annual licensing inspection with approved emission reduction equipment. By July 2008 all taxis will have to be at least at Euro-3 levels.

Cleaning up the environment and promoting a green agenda is a top priority for London. London has the worst air quality in the UK and last year air pollution was estimated to have caused 1,000 premature deaths in the capital.

...We are also working to making London a Low Emission Zone by 2008, which will see the removal of the most polluting lorries, buses and coaches from the streets.

—Mayor of London Ken Livingstone

In April 2005, an environmental charge of 20p (US$0.37) was added to the fixed minimum fare and was introduced to meet the cost of converting taxis to reach new environmental standard.

The new emissions requirements for taxis went into effect 1 July.


Harvey D.

That's the way to go mayor Livingstone!!!

Hope that other mayors around the globe read this. How could we send them copies?


Mayor Livingston is a nazi. He needs to be deposed.

allen Z

Ah yes, we love him, we hate him. NOX and particulate pollution could be dealt with via retrofits. However, it could be expensive, and thus some tax benefits should be added to help ease intoduction of law. Manufacturers should be encouraged to make these products as well.


With all my dislike to voluntaristic measures of London mayor, this one seems to me within the legal bounds of local authority and makes total sense.

Here in Vancouver hundreds of Toyota Prius taxis are employed without any significant incentives from the city. Super clean Prius taxis making tons of savings in fuel and maintenance costs. They are exploited 24/7 and in three years of useful life ticking more then million kilometers of service. I wish hybrid drivetrain will be employed in incredible convenient London cabs.

Rafael Seidl

Actually, considering the oh-so-green credentials of Mayor Livingstone, I think it's quite a disgrace to give taxis such an egregious exemption on emissions. All new taxi vehicles should be required to meet the same emissions standards as other LDVs, as of Oct 2005 that means Euro 4 in London. If the manufacturer of the distinctive London taxis cannot deliver a vehicle that meets that standard, then it's time to change the brand.

Taxis older than 10 years should anyhow be denied an extension of their license, to ensure adequate compliance with tightening emissions legislation. Taxi drivers switching to vehicles with especially low emissions (e.g. gasoline hybrid or diesel with wall-flow DPF) should be given a suitable tax break.

Fuel economy is all well and good, but for taxis emissions should be the #1 concern.

Dave Zeller

Here again we have another example of a "diesel nazi" (anyone against diesel engines, including about 100% of the environmentalists) who sees nothing wrong with increased fuel consumption at the expense of "environmentally correct" politics.

Livingston is the same chap who ordered that the traditional double-decker buses be done away with because they had "old" diesel engines. The old Routemasters were well known of getting 10 m.p.g. while the new buses can't even achieve 2 m.p.g., and that's including those fitted with the horrendously expensive hybrid technology that seems to be the rage nowadays, despite the fact it adds about $200,000 to the price of one of these fuel hogs. Isn't it so intelligent to replace a bus fleet with vehicles that use 5 times the fuel?

I would say that like most like-minded political hacks, Livingston would probably like to see all of the diesel taxis replaced by gasoline hybrid cars. Ain't gonna work! Compared to the Crown Victorias we use, and the London Taxi used in England, these hybrid cars are full of all sorts of expensive to maintain technology. In these cars, one electrical problem can easily cost $1000 to fix, and battery replacement can run $7000, and these are problems that ONLY the dealer can fix.
By the way, Crown Vics are incredibly tough and reliable cars- their fuel economy is fair, they don't require much attention to keep them running, and repair costs tend to be reasonable, as they do not require access to dealer-only computer software to diagnose problems. A few years ago some taxi companies tried to use Toyota Avalons, but after a few $3000 transmission replacements, and numerous front-end suspension repairs, they found the Avalons were not cost effective.

mark yates

Wheres your source for this 2mpg for a bus? Really, a new bus being 5x less efficient than an old one. Doing the same journey - i doubt it!
As for replacing batteries. That's the estimated cost to replace a set of Prius maybe... $1000s. But they're guaranteed for 8 years and 100,000 miles so stop spreading false information please!

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