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GAME CHANGER: New LEVC taxi and van fuel tech could save drivers between 30-50% in operating costs

Updated: Sep 5, 2022

Image credit: SBL-Automotive

An innovative new fuelling system which could save LEVC TX taxi drivers between 30-50% in operating costs compared to using petrol fuel was revealed in London.

SBL-Automotive plan to evolve the fossil fuel petrol fuelled range extender engine of the LEVC TX and VN5 by using compressed natural gas (CNG), biomethane, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and biopropane to further drive down costs and make for a greener running taxi.

The black cabs supplied by rental firm HP Taxi use Prins Alternative Fuel Systems VSI-3 hardware which can also adopt net zero carbon emission renewable fuel biomethane (replaces CNG) and net zero carbon emission renewable fuel biopropane (replaces LPG).

Image credit: SBL-Automotive

Biomethane and biopropane are seen as ‘drop in’ replacement fuels for CNG and LPG. No further vehicle changes are required to adopt these fuels in place of CNG and LPG.

The technology was revealed at an industry event held at central London’s ME Hotel on Monday 27 June.

As an added bonus the LEVC TX, and also its commercial van model the VN5, operating ranges are also increased by 90% (LPG/biopropane) and 70% (CNG/biomethane) when powered by the range extended engine after the installation of the bi-fuel system as the original petrol tank is also retained.

Image credit: SBL-Automotive

What gets installed into the taxi and van?

According to the bi-fuel experts the technology uses Prins Alternative Fuel Systems VSI-3 system.

This includes:

  • Fuel tanks for LPG / biopropane or CNG/ biomethane

  • Bi-fuel ECU which works alongside the original LEVC engine ECU

  • LPG / biopropane fuel vaporiser (warmed by engine coolant)

  • Or a CNG pressure regulator (warmed by engine coolant)

  • Gaseous fuel injectors

  • Fuel gauge / switch in the vehicle cabin.

Conversion costs for the system are in development and SBL-Automotive are targeting the system paying for itself in 1-2 years. Visit the website for further information and to register for future updates about this project.


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