London's Black Cabs Go Green

A fleet should be ready by the London Olympics in 2012.

London's green cabs

Zero-emission cabs are officially on their way to London. The cabs (which we've written about here before) have been approved for use on the city streets, having driven 8,000 miles on test tracks and on roads, garnering Road Legal status from England's Vehicle Certification Authority. London Mayor Boris Johnson is so pleased that he has advocated accelerated development of the cabs, which were developed by a consortium led by Intelligent Energy.

To celebrate its new legal status, one of the cabs went on a jaunt around London last week, passing by many of London's landmarks (like Big Ben, inset). A release informs that the cab "excelled in rush-hour traffic, with smooth and responsive acceleration provided by the fuel cell and electric motors."

The new black cabs get a 250-mile driving range and can be refueled in five minutes, crucial for any working cabbie. Said Mayor Johnson, also responsible for a pioneering bike-share program: "These prototype zero-emission taxis are a shining example of British ingenuity, combining revolutionary fuel cell technology with an iconic design classic. This marks an important milestone in my goal to create a cleaner cab fleet, firstly through introduction of the first ever age limits moving towards zero-emission vehicles as they come to market."

Henri Winand, Intelligent Energy's chief, promised Londoners that they'd be "seeing more of them in the coming months." The plan is to have a fleet of 20 on the roads in time for the 2012 Olympics in London. James Kennedy, a spokesman, tells Fast Company that by 2016, "taxis be in wider, regular use around London."

Related: Introducing the First Real Taxi Meter Innovation in 100 Years

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[Images: Intelligent Energy]

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