Nissan’s black cabs look green but electric launch faces hurdles

 
Marion Dakers
NISSAN has hailed its new black cab as a greener, cheaper alternative to the traditional Hackney carriage – but warned an electric version will only launch in London if the city installs more charging points.

A spokesperson said the petrol engine NV200 will appeal to London’s 25,000 licensed taxi drivers when it hits the roads in December as the cab is cheaper than rivals such as the TX – now produced by Chinese firm Geely – and the Mercedes Vito.

Nissan aims to roll out a fully electric version of the vehicle in 2015, though a spokesperson said this will only be in London if the city has enough charging points to make the cars viable: “Where the conditions are right, that’s where we will launch.”

There are currently almost 1,400 charging stations in the city, according to Source London, the charging membership scheme that will move from TfL to the French company IER this summer.

“The Mayor needs to pull his finger out and deliver on his original promise of 25,000 charging points,” said Jenny Jones, a Green Party assembly member.

A spokesperson for the Mayor said he is “delighted that taxi manufacturers across the board are responding to the challenge he has set for a zero emission capable taxi for London’s streets”.

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