I was brought up by a generation whose mantra was ‘Make do and mend’, so for many of us, this obsession with obsolescence is an anathema.
One company trying to break the new is better mould is Clipper Cabs.
In his quest to parade his green credentials, Mayor Khan proposes to scrap all diesel vehicles from London’s roads. But the taxi industry may have found an interim solution to scrapping by quickly converting more of its current fleet into more cost-effective and environmentally friendly taxis.
The firm behind the technology, Clipper Automotive, aims to turn diesel black taxis into Zero Emission Capable (ZEC) vehicles. One of the company’s founders Janosch Oppermann was kind enough to offer CabbieBlog a demonstration, unfortunately, health issues prevented me from having a test drive.
The London taxi industry has already invested heavily in new EV taxis since new vehicle regulations were introduced in January 2018. Since then over 5,000 electric taxis have been licensed by Transport for London, leaving just under 8,500 licensed diesel cabs still working in the capital.
Although some city regulators have expressed an interest in this environmentally friendly alternative to scrapping perfectly serviceable vehicles Transport for London insists on what is called type-approval that costs a fortune and might include multiple crash tests, even though the vehicle body has already gained approval with its diesel engine.
So there you have it, cabbies will have to drive a vehicle costing north of £70,000, while passengers’ fares will reflect the driver’s overheads. Certainly not make do nor mend.