Registration deadline 1 November
Taxi drivers in London have been given a November deadline to qualify for the 20-year LPG taxi age limit exemption.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced in December 2018 that he would offer a limited number of liquid petroleum gas (LPG) conversion grants to drivers of Euro 5 taxis to support the shift to cleaner vehicles.
It was agreed that taxis converted to LPG before 1 November would be handed a maximum operating age of 20 years. LPG taxis registered after that date will only be able to operate for 15 years.
Regulators Transport for London (TfL), have recognised that there have been delays with LPG conversions being completed prior to the November deadline through no fault of vehicle owners.
Sources are suggesting that TfL will now consider applications for a 20 year exemption on a case-by-case basis. Applicants providing evidence that they made a booking and paid a deposit for a conversion the 1 November, WOULD now qualify for a 20 year age limit exemption. Drivers must then have the conversion completed within a 3 month period following the 1 November deadline. According to Autogas Limited, a UK wide company that specialises in turning diesel taxis into LPG green machines, the fuel helps reduce Particulate Matter by 99% and cut NOx by 80%. Whilst LPG offers less drastic changes to CO2 emissions, a reduction of 7% respectively, the taxis converted to LPG would meet Euro 6 vehicle standards. This would mean all taxis would meet the current strict emission rulings despite their age. Further benefits highlighted by the firm include a low initial investment (it costs roughly £10,000 to convert) as taxi drivers can keep their existing vehicle, lower maintenance costs compared to the diesel, and also substantial 20-30% lower fuel costs. Autogas also claim that transition from diesel to LPG is made easier by the robust existing refuelling infrastructure and offers a 300 – 400 mile driving range.
Image credit: Autogas Limited