In a push to improve air quality in London, city officials will require that all new black taxi cabs be electric by 2020. Under increased pressure to reduce the worst air pollution in Europe, London Mayor Boris Johnson says the city will refuse licenses to any taxi older than 15 years beginning in 2012, a move that will remove about 1,200 black cabs from London’s roads.
Beginning in 2013, the city will require that cabs undergo two emissions inspections annually. In Central London, vehicles account for about 80 percent of air pollution, with black cabs contributing about 20 percent of the emissions. The new policy in London comes as officials announced plans to install 4,000 new electric vehicle charging stations throughout the UK, calling 2011 the “year of the electric car.”