Technology that could spark cleaner taxi engines and prolong the vehicle working age limit is set for UK testing.
A company based in Germany called HJS say that they can offer a cost effective solution to cabbies and licensing authorities looking to reach Euro 6 standards by retrofitting a highly efficient SCR system without impact on the engine control unit and performance.
As local authorities across the UK look to improve air quality in their area, older taxis have come under attack. In London, owners of Euro 5 standard taxis registered as early as 2015 have seen their vehicle licensing age limits cut from fifteen years to twelve.
Taxis are seen as a significant contributor to toxic air quality, and are said to be responsible for 16% of NOx and 26% of Particulate Matter (PM) emissions in central London.
If the retrofit was to be approved by local authorities the industry could see a swifter move to cleaner vehicles. In London alone there are roughly 4,400 taxis running at Euro 5 standard who could make the change to extend their taxi age limit by three years.
Steve McNamara, LTDA General Secretary, told its members: “The LTDA are developing a system to convert all 4,400 Euro V taxis to a Euro VI standard. This will enable members who wish to keep these cabs to benefit from a 15 year age limit.
“The added benefit is that once these cabs are certified as Euro VI standard they will become more saleable outside of London, where many authorities insist on Euro VI for all newly licensed taxis, and thus more valuable.
“It has taken forever, the initial cab was converted in Germany last August, but the detail and requirements from TfL and other bodies have resulted in long delays. Hopefully we are now reaching the end of this process and the cab should be attending the Millbrook proving ground very shortly.”