Transport for London has announced that the £2.5 million grant funding for repowering TX4 Euro 5 taxis to autogas (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) – which was announced just before Christmas – has been doubled to £5 million.
In a further move of support for low emission LPG, TfL has proposed that the repowered cabs will continue to be licensed for 15 years, alongside the latest Euro 6 and electric models. Under the new measures that would be introduced later this year, drivers of Euro 5, Euro 4 and Euro 3 taxis would have to retire their vehicles at 12 years.
Commenting on the announcement, Mike Hall, General Manager of Autogas said: “This is great news for the LPG industry and London’s air. It will mean that even higher numbers of highly polluting black cabs can be repowered to run on much cleaner LPG which reduces particulates by 95% and NOx by 97% (according to an independent MIRA study), helping to improve air quality for people living and working in London. We look forward to working with the Mayor and Transport for London to deliver a cleaner, greener city for all.”
7.9 million Londoners – nearly 95% of the capital’s population – live in areas that exceed the legal air pollution limit by 50% or more. In central London the average annual levels are almost double the World Health Organisation limit of 10 µg/m3, and poor air quality in London is causing thousands of premature deaths every year.
London has a target of becoming a zero carbon city by 2050 and as the transport network is one the highest pollutants it must make significant reductions to ensure the legal air quality levels are met. LPG taxis are a very cost effective way to transition towards this goal.
The LPG repowering grant will give an affordable alternative for taxi drivers to be able to drastically reduce the harmful emissions from their vehicles and will be applicable to drivers of more polluting TX4 Euro 5 black cabs. The increase in the grant means that 1,000 owners can now apply for the £5,000 grant.