Back in September 2011, Mayor of London Boris Johnson called for a zero-emission taxi in London by the end of the decade. Today Nissan just unveiled the Nissan NV200 London Taxi, a vehicle that might just make that target achievable. The NV200 London Taxi will offer significantly reduced CO2 outputs compared to current taxi models. Something that should make the Mayor smile as it shares the same focus as his Air Quality strategy for London.
The NV200 will come in two version. One features a 1.5 dCi 89 HP EuroV diesel engine and a 6-speed manual drivetrain, that achieves 53.3 Miles per Gallon on a combined cycle. This achieves almost a 50% fuel saving compared to the, until now most efficient TX4, with it’s combined cycle figure of 35.3 Miles per Gallon. An all-electric e-NV200 concept is also set to undergo trials in the Capital.
At the beginning of last year Amazon purchased LoveFilm, a European film subscription service, and then followed up by acquiring Pushbutton, a company that specialize in designing and building user interfaces. Amazon have now announced plans to combine the two UK-based media companies and their teams, and create a new international center for digital media development near Silicon Roundabout in central London, England.
Amazon might be a US firm with it’s headquarters in Seattle, but they still say London was the obvious choice for their new digital media development center. According to Amazon, Great Britain has led the way in pioneering on-demand services, which allow users to rent films and television over the Internet. It’s also worth noting that both LoveFilm and Pushbutton were founded in London.
As London is preparing to host the 2012 Olympic games this summer, the streets of the city will be receiving a lot of temporary guests. This will naturally put a strain on both public transport and law enforcement, but it will also increase the amount of garbage produced. To reduce litter during this time and beyond, the city have chosen to place new digital recycling bins around town. They will display the latest news, while also collecting 1.65 tons of material every year, and at the same time provide platform to broadcast public alerts if needed, in a fast and efficient way.
On the 16 December a new, next generation double decker bus, was presented in London. Transport for London that commissioned the buses, claims the hybrid double-decker bus “will be the most environmentally friendly bus of its kind when it enters passenger service.” The engineering test vehicle uses a hybrid drivetrain developed by Volvo and emits only 640 grams of CO2 per kilometer. This is less than half of that of current diesel buses emits. During testing fuel economy was also better than twice that of a standard diesel bus, clocking in at 11.6 mpg.
Transport for London awarded the contract for engineering design early 2010 to Wrightbus, a company based in Northern Ireland. Wrightbus in collaboration with London’s Heatherwick Studio have now have finished the first prototype, and is ready to show it off. London Mayor Boris Johnson proudly proclaimed at the unveil that “It is the latest, greatest masterpiece of British engineering and design, and I am certain it will become a much-loved and iconic vehicle akin to the legendary Routemaster from which it draws so much inspiration”. The first bus is planned to begin carrying passengers on the busy Route 38 (Victoria station to Hackney) on February 20, 2012.
Recycled rubber paving slabs from PaveGen are set to help power Europe’s largest urban mall at the 2012 London Olympics site. The paving slabs harvest the kinetic energy that occur when people step on them, and converts it into electricity. This will be PaveGen first commercial application, where 20 tiles will be placed along the central crossing between London’s Olympic stadium and the recently opened Westfield Stratford City mall. The mall expects an estimated 30 million visitors in its first year.
“That should be enough feet to power about half its (the mall’s) outdoor lighting needs” said Laurence Kemball-Cook, the 25-year-old engineering graduate who developed the prototype during his final year of university in 2009.