On 21st November came the surprise announcement from Nissan that it has suspended its London Taxi Project pending the outcome of London’s Ultra-Low Emission Zone consultation. It was being eagerly awaited by many in the taxi trade, following a launch event earlier this year, when Nissan said that this meant the taxi would have “exceptionally low CO2 emissions that start from 139g/km (89hp engine) – a figure that comfortably undercuts existing London Taxi offerings. Versions fitted with the 89hp engine feature a five-speed manual transmission, while 110hp variants benefit from a six-speed unit. Both powerplants are fully compliant with the latest EuroV emissions regulations.
Earlier this year, when Nissan announced the new taxi at the O2 Arena, it said that by 2015 the taxi would also be available with a clean, zero-emission electric motor. Nissan said its key goal was to have its electric version on sale “before any other manufacturer”. The NV200 Taxi was successfully launched in New York City recently and will be soon introduced in Tokyo and other cities in Asia. Last month the electric e-NV200 Taxi started commercial operations in Barcelona and it is expected that it will be soon introduced in other European cities.
James Wright, Managing Director, Nissan Motor GB said: “Nissan is a strong supporter of air quality and CO2 reduction measures and is encouraged to see the recent consultation launched by the Mayor’s office. However, if this were to be implemented then our planned petrol taxi, designed to meet the challenging
London taxi standards, would not meet the requirements from this date and it would be obsolete just a few years following its introduction. As such, we have decided to suspend our current taxi project until the regulation of the market has been decided.” He added: “Nissan will continue to work with Transport for London and the Mayor’s office to use our expertise and support the Capital’s transportation future.”