Nissan is riding the wave of Olympic hype to unveil its new London Taxi, with many of the same features as the black cabs but a few changes like the ability to go electric.
If you have ever visited London, chances are you got a ride in one of the ubiquitous black cabs that fill the streets of the British capital. The most prominent features are their roominess and big windows. Well now Nissan has unveiled the prototype for its new updated version that will be road-tested on London's streets next year.
Like the big black cabs, the new NV200 version has lots of room inside, with seating for 5 adults, big windows, including a panorama window on the roof. The car has the front passenger seat removed to make extra room for luggage and parcels. The exterior of the vehicle though resembles a minivan more than the old style cabs but is also wheelchair accessible. Alan Norton, from Assist UK, tells The Telegraph, "We are proud to be associated with Nissan in the development of an accessible taxi to meet the needs of all disabled people. The work is ongoing and future refinements are planned after the initial launch, as many ideas have been discussed and are currently undergoing development."
Best of all though, according to The Guardian, is that Nissan is promising the cars can cut pollution in London by 20% and the diesel engine version will be 50% more fuel efficient than the 22,000 black cabs now on London's roads. Nissan also says they will be available in an electric version but that will be up to the politicians to get moving on the idea and installing charging stations for electric vehicles around the city. If that happens the new electric taxis would have a range of about 200 miles a day based on an overnight charge and will be able to get a quick 30-minute charge up at the proposed future networking of charging points.
The Telegraph says trials for the electric version of the NV200 will begin on London streets next year. And provided it passes all the final tests, including a crash test, the diesel powered version should receive full London Taxi certification later this year.
But you won't see the new versions of the Big Black Taxis just on London streets. Tokyo has approved the vehicles to transport passengers through that city's streets and New York City has declared a yellow version of the car "Taxi of Tomorrow".