Nissan eyes 'black cab' market
Nissan is hoping to launch its own take on the London "black cab" and deliver something a little less agricultural in which the city's 300,000 daily cab users can ride. It's called, unapologetically the Nissan NV200 London Taxi.
The NV200 London Taxi is designed to significantly reduce CO2 outputs compared to current taxis - a focus in line with London Mayor Boris Johnson's Air Quality strategy for London.
An all-electric e-NV200 concept is also set to undergo trials in the London capital, where Johnson has joined disability groups and the influential London Taxi Drivers' Association in welcoming the Nissan London Taxi concept. Taxi versions of the NV200 have already been unveiled in Tokyo and the van-shaped Nissan has also been chosen as the exclusive New York City "taxi of tomorrow".
Nissan already has a place in London's cabs - its 2.7-litre TD27 diesel engine is used in the iconic LTI FX4 "Fairway" black cab, and is used in the Fairway's successor, the TX1.
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.
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.
Nissan's NV200 also delivers significantly improved running costs than alternative London cabs. The model's frugal 1.5 dCi 66kW EuroV, 6-speed manual drivetrain achieves 5.1L/100km on a combined cycle meaning an almost 50 per cent fuel saving over the most efficient current black cab, with its combined cycle figure of 8 to 9.5L/100km.
In terms of air quality in the city, the NV200 London Taxi's Euro V engine only emits up to 138g/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 tonnes each year - the equivalent of planting 4100 hectares, or the equivalent of two Congestion Charge zones, of trees every 12 months.
Subject to final testing, including a crash-test, the diesel-powered Nissan NV200 aims to receive full London Taxi certification later this year.
Modifications being made to the standard NV200 ensure the model conforms to the regulations set in London Taxi Conditions of Fitness. These include being able to accommodate a wheelchair passenger and achieve a 7.6-metre 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 manoeuvre.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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