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Mercedes-Benz UK offering discount to London taxi drivers purchasing a Vito Euro 5 taxi; age limits went into effect 1 Jan

Mercedes-Benz UK will offer a a £1,500 discount in April off the purchase price of a new Vito Euro 5 taxi in exchange for the driver agreeing to carry Mercedes-Benz advertising for 18 months. To help improve air quality in the capital, from 1 January 2012 no black cab over 15-years-old is being licensed by the Taxi and Private Hire Office. (Earlier post.)

Age limits were introduced at the start of this year and the oldest, most polluting cabs will no longer be licensed. We have been working hard with the taxi manufacturers to find ways to help cabbies upgrade to greener vehicles and we are delighted that Mercedes-Benz has responded in this way.

—John Mason, Transport for London’s Director of Taxi and Private Hire

Road transport is responsible for around 80% of airborne PM10 pollution in central London where air quality is worst, with black cabs contributing 20% of this.

The age limit will affect around 2,600 black cabs during 2012.



The 15-year decision point is a good start and it could be reduced by one year every year (or 2) until the fleet average is below 100 g/Km and going down by 5g/Km a year thereafter.

Of course, a similar progressive reduction of emissions should apply to city buses, delivery vehicles and private-government-commercial vehicles.


What they really need for taxis is for them to be plug-ins.  Taxis could recharge at taxi stands and run their climate control with the engines off, saving fuel and eliminating emissions in the city proper.


PHEVs for taxis is so evident as one the most suited solution that it make one wonder why manufacturers have not built complete fleets. Another option would be BEVs but current batteries may not have the performance level required and are too costly.

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