Nissan e-NV200: Electric taxi to trial in London in 2013
Not only is Nissan set to produce what it believes to be London's future black cab, it's also confirmed that an electric-powered taxi, built on its e-NV200 concept, is also in the works.
Speaking at the NV200 London taxi launch in London, Andy Palmer, executive vice-president of Nissan, announced: "Nissan will be testing a fully electric cab on the streets of London from 2013. These trial vehicles will be part of a feasibility study which could see the e-NV200 fully operational, in the capital, from spring 2014."
London is one of 12 cities in line for penalties for its poor air quality, an area that the Mayor's office has pledged to improve by 2020 by removing older, more polluting taxis from the roads and working on a zero-emissions vehicle. It looks like Nissan might have hit the nail on the head on that score.
Palmer adds: "Having already sold more than 40,000 of our all-electric Nissan Leafs globally - the first mass-marketed, 100 per cent electric vehicle - Nissan has a proven and advanced power train. It's this power train which could underpin the new e-NV200 London taxi."
And for cabbies in doubt, there are plenty of positives: Nissan has engineered a charge time of less than half an hour - yup, a mere 30mins - to top up the batteries. It might not be as quick as pumping in some diesel, but it'll certainly cost a lot less.
"Even the most sceptical cabbies will be won over by the fuel and maintenance savings, plus a massive improvement in refinement with near silent running and no vibrations," says Palmer.
And, of course, all Londoners would benefit from air quality improvements. Nissan may have the project fully up and running by 2014, depending on the outcome of its 2013 testing and whether or not planning can be passed for the necessary charging infrastructure to be deployed.
Exciting times for the capital.