Boris let loose on London in a green cab

(Laura Lean/City A.M.)

Boris Johnson took a spin in a new, green black cab this lunchtime as he announced plans to force new taxis to operate with zero-emissions by 2018.

The mayor of London, who has admitted in the past that his driving skills are awful (see the video below), took the white Metrocab for a walking-pace drive past City Hall before strolling back to his office.

Johnson said he was confident that cabbies will cope well with the move to zero emissions. He told reporters: “We’ve got to be fair to taxi drivers, and I think four years is a decent interval.”

The London Taxi Company, Metrocab maker Frazer-Nash, Karsan, Mercedes and Nissan are all working on cabs that could operate with zero emissions when necessary.

Johnson hailed the manufacturers for “preserving the bowler hat shape” that Londoners recognise as a taxi. Nissan said last week that it modified the design of its NV200 taxi to look more like the iconic black cab, at the request of TfL.

London currently has just 1,400 charging points for electric cars, though IER, which will take over the network over the summer, plans to have 6,000 in place by 2018 including special services for taxi drivers.