UK Warned to Comply With EU Air Quality Standards

Kit Malthouse, London's deputy mayor unveiled two hydrogen fuel cell-powered black cabs yesterday as a result of efforts to cut carbon emissions and air pollution in the city.

The organisation behind the green project said the method of fuel cell installation means that the green cabs are indistinguishable from the standard black cabs which the capital is famous for.

However, these new vehicles now only release water vapour from their exhaust pipes.

This move marks the first phase in an ambitious project which is intended to replace all of London's 20,000 cabs with these zero-emission vehicles in the next ten years.

A spokesman for the mayor has promised sponsored "show taxis" to be ready and working by the end of 2012, ahead of the rollout of 100 commercial cars by 2015.

He added that it was too early to put a price on the new fuel cell cabs, but admitted that they were likely to be "cost competitive" with the current £30,000 price of a black cab.

The new cabs will work in conjunction with the planned hydrogen network that is planned for installation across London, providing at least six hydrogen refuelling sites installed across the city in the next two years.

The spokesperson also said that this will ultimately lead to the lower cost of hydrogen fuel could help to drive down future travelling prices.

This £5.5m pilot project has been funded by the Techology Strategy Board and is due to be delivered by a range of companies including fuel cell manufacturer Intelligent Energy, Lotus Engineering, LTI Vehicles and TRW Conekt.

This news comes just days after the European Commission warned the government that it would pursue legal action against Britain unless it acts straight away to rectify London's failure to comply with the EU air quality standards.

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