The Mercedes-Benz Vito taxi is back at Millbrook at the end of the month for further Euro 6 retrofitting testing as trade eyes up August/September approval date.
The black cab is set to return to the testing centre on 31 May before running for 10,000 miles during a 24/7 timescale to accelerate approval into the London market.
TX4 taxi owners have also been waiting patiently for the kit to become available in London, after seeing the retrofit approved in other major UK cities including Birmingham and Glasgow.
According to retrofitting experts HJS, the TX4 is running approximately one month behind the Mercedes-Benz Vito.
The aim is for both retrofit options to be available in August and September this year.
Aside from buying a new Zero-Emission Capable (ZEC) taxi, retrofitting existing cabs to meet Euro 6 compliance standards is seen as one way of future proofing a driver’s taxi. Using a fully approved retrofit conversion could not only save money on fees, but it will also ensure that the taxi is less harmful to the environment.
The conversion is currently available for Euro 5 Mercedes Vito, Peugeot E7 taxis and the LTi TX4. The price of the conversation starts at around £6,000-£6,500 plus VAT and includes installation. Some cities implementing Clean Air Zones are still offering grants available through local government, meaning the cost of the conversion can be considerably slashed.
For the London market the approximate price currently sits at around £7,500 plus VAT and includes installation.
The accreditation required to become exempt from emission zone fees within the LEZ or CAZ is known as Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS) and is administered by the Energy Saving Trust.
On a standard Euro 5 compliant taxi, exhaust gas from the turbocharger passes directly into the combined catalytic converter and diesel particulate filter and from there through the silencer to the tailpipe.
On a retrofitted Euro 6 compliant cab, a new Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system is installed into the exhaust system further downstream. This incorporates a thermo-electric element which helps to bring the exhaust to an ideal temperature to encourage efficient catalytic conversion. Together with the introduction of AdBlue, which is a diesel exhaust fluid, the SCR system reduces NOx down to levels that exceed the requirements of Euro 6.
SCR is beneficial because it reduces NOx by up to 90% and is one of the most cost-effective and fuel-efficient technologies available.
The retrofit system also comes with a full 2-year warranty and local installation options are being rolled out continuously.