TAXI drivers are set to go green with Nissan’s new fuel-efficient black cab.
The Japanese carmaker’s NV200 London Taxi – a version of a van which is now being used as New York’s new yellow cabs – will go on sale next year.
Bosses say the Spanish-made diesel vehicle will be more fuel efficient than current taxis and an electric version, with batteries and engines made in Sunderland, will be on trial from 2014.
Andy Palmer, executive vice-president of Nissan, said: “Nissan is proud to be delivering a 21st-century vision for one of London’s most iconic vehicles.
”The Nissan NV200 is a global taxi, launching in the biggest and brightest cities in the world.
“Safe, comfortable, efficient and convenient – it’s a great step forward for providing a transport solution that is good for both its users and other city inhabitants.”
London mayor Boris Johnson joined disability groups and the London Taxi Drivers’ Association in welcoming the launch of the NV200.
“Improving air quality in London is one of the most important challenges I face as mayor,” he said.
“Having taken the significant step of introducing the first age limit for taxis in London, I am absolutely delighted that manufacturers are stepping up to the plate and responding to the challenge I set in my air quality strategy to reduce taxi emissions and improve efficiency.”
Alan Norton, from Assist UK, said: “Assist UK is proud to be associated with Nissan in the development of an accessible taxi.”
Earlier this month, the Echo revealed how hundreds of Nissan cars have been shipped out of Sunderland for the first time in 26 years in what is being seen as a major coup for the city’s port.
Nissan usually exports vehicles through the Port of Tyne in South Tyneside.
However, hopes are high the test-run could lay the foundations for more Sunderland-built cars to be exported from the city.
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