Nissan Unveils a Bold New Vision for the London "Black Cab": The Nissan NV200 London Taxi

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  • Nissan unveils a new Hackney Carriage for the Capital
  • Affordable and 50 percent more fuel efficient, than alternative cabs
  • Complies with TfL regulations, including 25-foot turning circle
  • All-electric e-NV200 prototype London Taxi to be tested in 2013
  • Fully backed by London Mayor, Boris Johnson, the Licensed Taxi Drivers' Association and disability groups
  • Designed for superior comfort, space, convenience and accessibility

LONDON, United Kingdom - Nissan has unveiled a bold new vision for the future of the London 'black cab' and its 300,000 daily users - the Nissan NV200 London Taxi.

The NV200 London Taxi will offer significantly reduced CO2 outputs compared to current taxi models - a focus in line with the Mayor Boris Johnson's Air Quality strategy for London.

An all-electric e-NV200 concept is also set to undergo trials in the Capital.

The Mayor has joined disability groups and the influential London Taxi Drivers' Association in welcoming the launch of the Nissan NV200 London Taxi.

Taxi versions of the NV200 have already been unveiled in Tokyo and it has also been chosen as the exclusive New York City 'Taxi of tomorrow.' The NV200 London Taxi joins an exciting global Nissan vision for the private hire industry.

Nissan has a respected place in the Capital's taxi history - its 2.7-liter TD27 diesel engine was chosen for the iconic LTI FX4 'Fairway' black cab, which introduced improved speed, reliability and efficiency to the London cabbie's daily drive. The same engine also featured in the Fairway's successor, the TX1.

The NV200 will build on this reputation.

Steve McNamara, General Secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers' Association, said: "Nissan already has a great footing in the London taxi market - the 2.7-liter diesel that featured in some of the early taxis was one of the greatest engines ever put in a cab. From what I've seen of the NV200 London Taxi, it ticks all the right boxes. It's important that it looks like a cab, is comfortable with good ingress and egress and is reliable. If the fuel consumption figures are as promised, it will be a big seller."

Designed from the inside out for the well-being of passengers, drivers and even other road users, the NV200 London Taxi is more efficient and more environmentally considerate than current 'black cab' models, while delivering more comfort, space and convenience for occupants. A particular focus was also placed on providing for passengers with mobility issues.

Alan Norton, from Assist UK, said: "Assist UK is proud to be associated with Nissan in the development of an accessible taxi to meet the needs of all disabled people. We have had the opportunity to bring together experts from all fields of disability to work with designers to ensure the vehicle will work for all in their transport needs. The work is ongoing and future refinements are planned after the initial launch, as many ideas have been discussed and are currently undergoing development. We congratulate Nissan for its initiative and wish them every success with their project."

Durable and reliable, the Nissan NV200 London Taxi is based on the company's multi-purpose NV200 compact van - a vehicle which has won many awards including International Van Of The Year. Launched at end of 2009, the model has been introduced to 40 countries, selling over 100,000 units worldwide.

The Nissan NV200 London Taxi comfortably seats five adults - three on a rear bench with two on rear-facing, fold-down seats. The front passenger seat has been removed to create space for luggage.

A stand-out feature is the taxi's sliding passenger doors, which were developed for easy open and close. They are also much safer for pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles because they do not swing out to create a potential obstruction.

The diesel version of the Nissan NV200 London Taxi is expected to be competitively priced below the new TX4 - the London Taxi Company's current model - and will be available through a designated 'specialist' Nissan dealer.

Nissan's NV200 also delivers significantly improved running costs than alternative London cabs. The model's frugal 1.5 dCi 89 HP EuroV, 6-speed manual drivetrain achieves 53.3 mpg on a combined cycle meaning almost 50 percent fuel saving than the most efficient TX4 with its combined cycle figure of 35.3 mpg.

Fuel costs account for around 10 percent of taxi driver overheads. Over the course of a year, NV200 London Taxi drivers would spend around 50 percent less - about £700 - on fuel than TX4 drivers.*

With a focus on improving air quality in the city, the NV200 London Taxi's Euro V engine only emits up to 139g/km of CO2, compared with 209g/km from the 'greenest' TX4 model. As a relevant simulation, if all of London's licensed taxis were replaced with the NV200 London Taxi, there would be a CO2 reduction across London of 37,970 metric tons each year - the equivalent of planting 10,000 acres, or two Congestion Charge zones, of trees every 12 months.

More importantly, the harmful NOx and PM (particulate) gases on which authorities are seeking particular improvement in 'clean air' legislation, would be reduced by an estimated 135 metric tons and 20 metric tons per year.**

An all electric version could have an even bigger impact on London's air quality. Having been the first car manufacturer to mass produce a 100% electric family car with its trail-blazing Nissan LEAF, Nissan could cement its place at the forefront of motoring technology with the introduction of an all-electric e-NV200 London Taxi. With running costs estimated to be around one fifth of a conventional, diesel-powered Hackney Carriage it is likely to be popular with drivers too.

Discussions with all the stakeholders will continue to try and make an e-NV200 a realistic proposition by increasing investment in charging infrastructure.

Subject to final testing, including a crash-test, the diesel-powered Nissan NV200 aims to receive full London Taxi certification later this year.

The extensive modifications to the standard NV200 ensure the model fully conforms to the regulations set in the TfL London Taxi Conditions of Fitness. These include being able to accommodate a wheelchair passenger and achieve a 25ft (7.6m) turning-circle - a legal requirement for all Hackney carriages, said to originate from the small roundabout in front of the famous Savoy Hotel on The Strand that taxis needed to round in one maneuver.

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, said: "Improving air quality in London is one of the most important challenges I face as Mayor. Having taken the significant step of introducing the first age limit for taxis in London, I am absolutely delighted that manufacturers are stepping up to the plate and are responding to the challenge I set in my air quality strategy to reduce taxi emissions and improve efficiency. I look forward to when a fully competitive model comes to market."

Andy Palmer, Executive Vice President of Nissan, said: "Nissan is proud to be delivering a 21st century vision for one of London's most iconic vehicles. The 'black cab' is as much a part of the London landscape as Big Ben and, whilst there will always be a place for that familiar silhouette, the Nissan NV200 London Taxi focuses as much attention on its interior as the exterior - a better experience for drivers and passengers."

He continued: "The design process for the NV200 London Taxi was exhaustive and will be further improved. In addition to ensuring drivers would be comfortable spending extended hours behind the wheel, we've had to consider every user for this vehicle - there are no specific customer profiles in the back of a London cab. Adults, children, business professionals, foreign visitors, disabled travellers - they're all potential customers. We've even considered those who might never get inside the taxi but who will benefit from features such as the model's lower CO2 emissions or the un-obstructing sliding doors.

"The Nissan NV200 is a global taxi, launching in the biggest and brightest cities in the world. Safe, comfortable, efficient and convenient - it's a great step forward for providing a transport solution that is good for both its users and other city inhabitants."

Nissan NV200 London Taxi technical specification*

Wheelbase: 2.72m
Vehicle Height: 1.86m
Vehicle Length: 4.4m
Vehicle Width without mirrors: 1.89m
Vehicle Width with mirrors: 2.1m
Turning circle: 7.6m
Engine Displacement (L): 1.5
No of of cylinders: 4
14MY Estimated Combined Fuel Economy: 53mpg
Engine Power (HP/kW): 89/66
Torque: 240Nm @ 1750rpm
CO2: 139g/km
NOx: 0.22g/km
Particles: 0.016g/km
Driven axle: Front

*Exact specifications will not be known until further testing is carried out; figures based on estimates and specification figures of existing NV200 van

Other notable vehicle features are:

  • Increase in front wheel articulation to meet the 25ft (7.6m) turning circle requirement
  • New front direction indicators installed
  • A specially developed 'Taxi' sign approved by the PCO, clearly visible both by day and night
  • Step or slope options for the rear sliding door access, for ease of passenger access
  • A 1.2m2 glass roof so that passengers can enjoy the view above the cab, as well as around it
  • A part-glazed bulkhead between the driver and passenger compartment, accommodating rear-facing seats with seatbelt attachments
  • Front passenger seat removed for luggage space
  • Rear seats on sliders, for flexibility of load and rear cabin space; especially useful for wheelchair access
  • Fixation points incorporated into the floor/bulkhead to enable tie-down of a wheelchair
  • Separate lighting controls for driver and passengers; the passenger control switch is within easy reach of wheelchair passengers; floor-level lighting fitted to each passenger door
  • Heating and ventilation system for driver and passengers, with independent controls; the passenger control switch is within easy reach of wheelchair passengers

Current TfL LTPH regulations for construction and licensing of motor taxis for use in London: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/businessandpartners/taxi-conditions-of-fitness.pdf

*Below calculations assume all London taxis are current TX4 model. Reality is large percentage will be older and less fuel efficient.

TX4: 233,600,000 taxi miles per year / 35.3mpg (TX4 Combined Cycle Economy) = 6,617,563 gallons
6,617,563 gallons x (143.6ppl * 4.55 = £6.53 av. Cost per gallon diesel) = £43,212,686

NV200 London Taxi: 233,600,000 taxi miles per year / 53.3mpg (NV200 Combined Cycle Economy) = 4,382,739 gallons

4,382,739 gallons x (143.6ppl * 4.55 = £6.53 av. cost per gallon of diesel (Jan-Jun 2012)) = £28,619,285

Overall difference = £43,212,686 - £28,619,285 = £14,593,401 per year.
Individual drivers = £14,593,401 / 22,000 = £663 per year.

**Assuming an average CO2 emissions figure of 240g/km for current taxi models - based on automatic transmission outputs - and 139g/km for the 1.5dCi NV200 5-speed manual, there would be an estimated annual reduction of 37,970 metric tons of CO2.

Assuming an average NOx emissions figure of 0.50g/km for current taxi models - based on automatic transmission outputs - and 0.14g/km for the 1.5dCi NV200 5-speed manual, there would be an estimated annual reduction of 135 metric tons of NOx.

About Nissan in Europe
Nissan has one of the most comprehensive European presences of any overseas manufacturer, employing more than 14,500 staff across locally-based design, research & development, manufacturing, logistics and sales & marketing operations. Last year Nissan plants in the UK, Spain and Russia produced 677,000 vehicles including mini-MPVs, award-winning crossovers, SUVs and commercial vehicles. Nissan now offers 24 diverse and innovative products for sale in Europe today, and is positioned to become the number one Asian brand in Europe.

 

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