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New Technology Can Reduce Toxic Emissions In UK’s London Cabs




16 percent of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions in central London are caused by taxis. They are also responsible for 26 percent of the particulate matter in central London’s air. Both emissions come with a bevy of hazards to human and environmental health. However, a German company called HJS has developed a solution: a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system that can be retrofitted to old taxis. If the system works as advertised, taxi engines will not only be cleaner, but they will last longer and reduce costs.

SCR Does Not Affect Performance

According to HJS, the system that they hope to install in London cabs does not impact their performance or engine control unit. It works independently from the engine to remove nitrogen oxides and other contaminants from the exhaust. HJS estimates that SCR will reduce NOx by 75 percent compared to Euro 5 diesel taxis. This means that, by adopting an SCR system, Euro 5 taxis can become Euro 6.

Euro 5 Versus Euro 6

There are approximately 4,400 cabs in London with Euro 5 certification. Euro 5 denotes a vehicle whose engine emissions are higher than ideal – 0.18 g/km of NOx to be exact (for diesel). In comparing cars by their eco-friendliness, those that are certified Euro 6 win by a landslide. Euro 6 vehicles with diesel engines must emit no more than 0.08 g/km of NOx. If all outdated taxis were to adopt SCR, the entire fleet of London cabs would operate at an acceptable emissions level. For this to happen, the technology would likely need government approval.

Lifespan Extension On London Taxis

London law states that, starting in 2022, Euro 5 taxis will be forced to retire after 12 years of operation. This is where the Euro 6 advantage for taxi companies and drivers is most palpable. Cabs that have Euro 6 certification can drive for 15 years before retirement. That’s three extra years. A lot of fares can be collected in three years, and a lot of money can be saved on taxis if the old ones can be replaced every 15 years instead of every 12. SCR is, therefore, a cost-effective technology that should benefit the drivers themselves. Hidden costs, of course, may remain.

If SCR is approved and implemented, it could signal the end of energy-inefficient taxis – not only in London, but the world over. Electric power will claim whatever vehicles SCR misses. Diesel cabs are just another casualty in the war for sustainability.

From television to the internet platform, Jonathan switched his journey in digital media with Bigtime Daily. He served as a journalist for popular news channels and currently contributes his experience for Bigtime Daily by writing about the tech domain.

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