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Nissan positions its NV200 as the next-generation London taxi

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August 6, 2012

Nissan's Andy Palmer poses next to London's new NV200 black cab (Photo: Gizmag)

Nissan's Andy Palmer poses next to London's new NV200 black cab (Photo: Gizmag)

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With London 2012 in full effect and all eyes on UK's capital, Nissan has chosen a shrewd Monday morning to announce that its NV200 is to be certified as a London black cab. Nissan claims that the taxi variant of its light commercial vehicle is 50 percent more fuel efficient than other black cabs, allowing the automaker to position the NV200 as the next generation London taxi, just as it has for New York and Tokyo where NV200 taxis are also set to appear. The fully electric model, the e-NV200, is set for London testing next year, and could see service as early as 2014.

Executive Vice President Andy Palmer took to the podium to extoll the virtues of its machine, claiming that in addition to the efficiency gains, which Nissan claims could save individual drivers £663 (US$1032) per year, the upfront cost of the diesel-powered NV200 will also be lower than the competition—crucial if it is to sway the notoriously staid London cabbies who have to fork out for their own vehicles.

Nissan has had to convince both the Mayor's office and Transport for London (TfL) to gain approval for the NV200. The company has positioned its vehicle as a crucial measure in improving London's air quality. It's a characteristic certain to have caught the attention of London Mayor, Boris Johnson: London is already on borrowed time in respect of European air quality legislation.

"If all of London's licensed taxis were replaced with the NV200 London Taxi, there would be a CO2 reduction across London of 37,970 metric tonnes [41,855 tons] each year," Nissan claims. Apparently, the same substitution would reduce NOx gas and PM particulate pollution by 135 metric tonnes (149 tons) and 20 metric tonnes (22 tons) per year respectively. Clearly a fully-electric model would help combat localized air pollution even further, even if, until such a time as clean energy is universal, the air pollution is merely transposed to the power station.

The NV200 ticks all of TfL's boxes for a black cab (or more correctly, Hackney carriage). Specifically, the taxified NV200 is able to accommodate a wheelchair passenger, and achieves the legal requirement for a maximum turning circle of 25 ft (7.6 m).

A nice feature of the London model is a 1.2 sq m (12.9 sq ft) glass roof: a nod to the fact that many of the most striking views in an inner city are directly upwards.

The full spec list (which could change prior to launch) for the London model of the NV200 taxi is as follows:
  • Vehicle Height: 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
  • Vehicle Length: 4.4 m (14 ft 5 in)
  • Vehicle Width without mirrors: 1.89 m (6 ft 2 in)
  • Vehicle Width with mirrors: 2.1 m (6 ft 11 in)
  • Turning circle: 7.6 m (24 ft 11 in)
  • Engine Displacement: 1.5 l (0.33 gal)
  • No of of cylinders: 4
  • 14MY Estimated Combined Fuel Economy: 53 mpg (22.5 km/l)
  • Engine Power: 89 hp (66 kW)
  • Torque (@ 1750 rpm): 240 Nm (2 832 ounce feet) @ 1750rpm
  • CO2: 139 g/km (7.89 ounces per mile)
  • NOx: 0.22 g/km (0.012 ounces per mile)
  • Particles: 0.016 g/km (0.00091 ounces per mile)
  • Driven axle: Front
About the Author
James Holloway James lives in East London where he punctuates endless tea drinking with freelance writing and meteorological angst. Unlocking Every Extend Extra Extreme’s “Master of Extreme” achievement was the fourth proudest moment of his life.   All articles by James Holloway
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14 Comments

Sounds good on the surface, but really the high body, should be tested for stability against overturning in an accident. I may be wrong but in the US they have a "Moose Test"? IMHO, the authorities and the Cab companies need to be assured of safety as they ferry millions of passengers yearly.

I suggest this because i once witnessed an accident in which a high bodied car or MPV, after hitting a vehicle beside it without too much impact, actually somersaulted and landed on its roof right beside me, as i was driving to get out of the way.

Nantha
6th August, 2012 @ 04:49 am PDT

Ugly things. It's as if they hire body kit mad graduates to design a car. You know, those body kits made for cars and don't actually suit them? Nissan had another chance to wow the world and that's what they show.

Mark Penver
6th August, 2012 @ 05:58 am PDT

re; Nantha

I once saw motorcycle T-bone a civic and the guy killed was the one in the car. Strange things happen.

ps it was a Goldwing.

Slowburn
6th August, 2012 @ 06:08 am PDT

Fantastic. I wish we had taxis like these in Australia. We still have rediculously massive V6 Falcodores as the majority of our taxis which is just stupid.

Facebook User
6th August, 2012 @ 03:45 pm PDT

re; Kriss Heibananas

Is a Falcodore a specific model or a class.

Slowburn
6th August, 2012 @ 09:24 pm PDT

Slowburn, its a genus

Kriss, we have a lot of Prius' in Tassie, about the only forward thinking thing.

Ozuzi
6th August, 2012 @ 11:31 pm PDT

I've never understood the justification for taxis being 'efficient' public transport. How are they different from people using their own car, except for parking space? Many taxi's are only taking one person, yet require fuel to transport 2 (driver as well as passenger) and a vehicle capable of carrying six.

Yet they get exempt from congestion charge, and they are allowed to use bus lanes. Why?

I'd like to see 2 changes to the current system:

1 - a new 'discounted' taxi capable of carrying only 2 passengers (or 1 wheelchair), and half the road space of the current minibus style.

2 - ban on taxi's using bus lanes, so that real public transport becomes more efficient and quicker. The more people that use buses, the better the service will get.

JPAR
7th August, 2012 @ 01:03 am PDT

Having a 'maximum' turning circle of 25 feet must make roads that only curve slightly, or are even straight, impossible to drive along! However, being able to turn round 'on the spot' must make parking a piece of cake, or is there a more realistic minimum turning circle, too?

Mel Tisdale
7th August, 2012 @ 06:29 am PDT

@Nantha,

Moose are a fairly rare sight in London for some reason. Therefore the moose test would be less relevent.

I'm not in favour of these converted panel vans being used for taxi use. I very much doubt that they would offer the durability of the famous TX4 London taxi which was purpose-engineered for that job, and nothing else. And the TX4 is a truly iconic vehicle- with the dissappearance of the famous Routemaster bus it would be a shame if we saw the loss of these wonderful vehicles in favour of a panel van which is not likely to have the longevity of these taxis.

Not only that but road tests of the NV200 criticise the ride quality, especially over potholed roads.

@funglestrumpet, 'maximum turning circle' refers to the turning circle at full lock! The tiny turning circle requirement was initially brought in because of the extremely tight forecourt of the Savoy Hotel. Such vehicles can travel on straight roads thankfully!

bergamot69
7th August, 2012 @ 09:06 am PDT

re; funglestrumpet

It could be a typo or the circle made when making a maximum turn. Being an an American my dialect is different.

Slowburn
7th August, 2012 @ 09:25 am PDT

"Clearly a fully-electric model would help combat localized air pollution even further, even if, until such a time as clean energy is universal, the air pollution is merely transposed to the power station."

Well said! Well said!

Fretting Freddy the Ferret pressing the Fret
7th August, 2012 @ 12:25 pm PDT

London should approve the Karsan V1. It was a favorite of the public in NYC's Taxi of Tomorrow competition, and there was a lot of disappointment and more than a little suspicion of backroom shenanigans when the Nissan was chosen. London should show NYC the error of its ways.

Gadgeteer
7th August, 2012 @ 08:35 pm PDT

re; Gadgeteer

London should approve any vehicle that meets the requirements that they have set and let the companies and drivers decide what they want to buy.

Slowburn
7th August, 2012 @ 09:57 pm PDT

IMO, it is a worthy successor to the London Taxi.

BigWarpGuy
28th August, 2013 @ 05:43 am PDT
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