United Kingdom
Sector: LPG

London tests LPG-powered black cabs

London needs some fresh air like, well... fresh air. Once again, autogas comes to the rescue, as UK's capital becomes another British city to test LPG-powered taxis. In fact, the trial is in its final phase, so deployment may be drawing near.
An autogas-powered black cab in front of the Houses of Parliament in London© auto-gas.netBlack by colour, not by emissions!

It's not easy to prove one's valour, but a black cab running on autogas is on its way there in London as the final stage of the approval procedure conducted by TfL (Transport for London) has begun. The vehicle, operated by Autogas Limited, will now cover 10 thousand miles (16 thousand km) to simulate everyday taxi service conditions (although without passengers). If the car meets or exceeds expectations – and we're confident it does – LPG-powered black cabs will systematically replace their equivalents running on diesel. The goal is primarily to reduce harmful NOX emissions in the city and improve air quality, but of course along will come savings.

London, like many other cities and towns across the UK, has a major air quality problem, largely as a result of NOX emissions and particulate matter from diesel vehicles. Giving taxi drivers an immediate and viable opportunity to switch to a fuel source that is much cleaner than diesel will not only help improve local air quality, but it will also extend the usable life of their cab for another five years and save them around £200 a month in fuel costs, so it really is a win-win situation for everyone.

Paul Oxford, business development manager at Autogas Limited

Once the taxi-replacement scheme goes ahead, TX2 units featuring Diesel powerplants will undergo "engine transplants". The newly installed motors will be General Motors 2-litre petrol units with LPG conversions. Cleaner, greener and cheaper to run as the "reborn" cars will be, they are to have the same drivability characteristics as diesels, so that drivers feel familiar behind the wheel and don't have to learn how to drive the vehicles that they otherwise know very well. On the emissions front, nitrogen oxides will be reduced by 80% and particulate matter by as much as 90%. When the London field test concludes, the car will be handed over to the MIRA technology institute for a final approval and if it receives green light, the engine replacement procedure will commence. Let's keep our fingers crossed.


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Robert Markowski
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