Updated: Jan 17
Transport for London (TfL) remains ‘committed’ to working with firm aiming to deliver much needed Euro 6 conversion kits to existing diesel TX4 taxis in the capital.
TX4 taxi owners have 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.
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.
London Assembly Member, Caroline Pidgeon, asked the Mayor of London whether he will agree to expedite the testing of the Euro 5 to 6 conversion kit for the TX4 taxi model to the road test stage. This was due to more taxis reaching the maximum lowered age limit than there are entering the trade.
Pidgeon went on the ask whether the roll out of the conversion kit will be done with the ‘urgency that is required’ to support the black taxi trade as well as clean up the taxi fleet.
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, responded: “Transport for London (TfL) remains committed to working with HJS, a private company seeking to convert Euro 5 diesel Mercedes Vito and TX taxis to achieve a Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) Euro 6 emissions standard.
“TfL is currently awaiting further information from HJS. Subject to the satisfactory provision of the information, the vehicles will need to undertake tests to ensure the device’s safety, effectiveness and durability.
“It is essential that taxis, which are licensed to carry passengers, are safe and that the device achieves the emission reduction.”
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 plus installation/extras and VAT. Some cities implementing Clean Air Zones are still offering grants available through local government, meaning the cost of the conversion can be considerably slashed.
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.