Zero Emission Taxi

Meeting: 
MQT on 2013-07-17
Session date: 
July 17, 2013
Reference: 
2013/2326
Question By: 
Stephen Knight
Organisation: 
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor
Category: 

Question

In light of the intention spelt out in your 2020 Vision - 'to serve due notice to consumers and manufacturers that by [2020] we expect to restrict central London only to those vehicles that have zero or near-zero tailpipe emissions' - when will you ensure that all new taxis licensed to operate in London are zero emission?

Answer

Answer for Zero Emission Taxi

Answer for Zero Emission Taxi

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): Thank you, Stephen. You are asking when all new taxis licensed to operate in London will be zero emission, or close to zero omission. We will be clear here, some may have some emissions but that issue is what we have at the moment. We set a deadline. The first deadline is for 2020 for the ultra low emissions but we now think we can get it earlier than that and we will be making some announcements fairly soon about that.

Stephen Knight (AM): Sorry, Mr Mayor, did you just say that new taxis will be close to the zero emission zone by 2020?

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): All new vehicles by 2020. We are now looking at trying to accelerate that timetable.

Stephen Knight (AM): Mr Mayor, your ambition, as you have set out to us under your low emission zone, talks about all vehicles within Central London being zero or near zero emissions by 2020, so presumably new vehicles are going to have to start a lot earlier than that if you are going to achieve all vehicles by 2020. Do you not need to ensure that new vehicles now

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): 2020 is not that far away now. People are already investing in vehicles which they expect to use for a considerable time. It is unfair to tell them that their vehicles will be illegal in only seven years' time or six years' time. That is not reasonable. What you can do is look at targets for new vehicles and we are looking at that.

Stephen Knight (AM): This is why presumably in order to achieve compliance across the fleet by 2020, you need to start now in terms of ensuring

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): We are not going to achieve compliance across the fleet by 2020; that is a stupid idea.

Stephen Knight (AM): OK, so what you are suggesting is that the latest vehicles

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): That is just stupid. Forget it. Get it out of your head, forget it.

Stephen Knight (AM): will be given a sort of free pass to carry on working within Central London past 2020. Is that right?

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): No. What we are trying to

Stephen Knight (AM): Because it is not what you have said, is it? Your 2020 Vision is quite clear that you want to serve notice on consumers and manufacturers that by 2020, we expect to restrict Central London only to those vehicles that have zero or near zero tailpipe emissions. Now you are saying that is not the case.

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): For new vehicles.

Stephen Knight (AM): That is not what your 2020 Vision says, with respect, Mr Mayor, is it? Your Vision says to restrict to only those vehicles that have zero emission vehicles; not only those new vehicles that have

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): Then let me clarify it by saying it has to be for new vehicles because we are talking about a deadline that is only seven years away now. It is not reasonable to expect you to invest £20,000 or £34,000 in a taxi that has a life expectancy of only seven years. That is just crazy. What we are talking about is new vehicles.

Stephen Knight (AM): So what you are actually saying is you expect new vehicles

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): What we are also saying, what I am saying to you this morning, is that it may be possible to bring forward the deadline by which all new vehicles will have zero or near zero tailpipe emissions.

Stephen Knight (AM): Mr Mayor, I think this is quite a significant statement you have just made because you appear to have completely torn up the announcement that you made back in February about the low emission zone in London.

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): No, rubbish.

Stephen Knight (AM): You are now saying it won't apply to all vehicles.

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): No. I think if you go and look at what I said when I announced the ultra low emission zone.

Stephen Knight (AM): I have. I have it here but you have said, and your 2020 Vision is very clear

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): No. Go and look at what I said when we announced the ultra low emission zone. I made it absolutely clear we are talking about new vehicles. Go on. Get it.

Stephen Knight (AM): I think I have it here actually, so we will look at that, but certainly your 2020 Vision is absolutely clear that you expect this to apply to all vehicles. Indeed, TfL's position

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): Yes. I am saying all new vehicles, Stephen, because otherwise it is stupid, all right? It is sort of Liberal Democrat

Stephen Knight (AM): This is a very different policy you are announcing this morning to the policy that you announced in February, the policy that you announced more recently

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): No, it is not.

Stephen Knight (AM): when you presented your 2020 Vision. So I think Londoners need clarity, Mr Mayor.

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): I think what they need is a modicum of intelligence.

Stephen Knight (AM): OK. Let's look at this in some more detail. TfL have brought proposals just last week to the Assembly's Environment Committee showing a range of options for implementing your

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): Are you seriously saying

Stephen Knight (AM): Hold on, let me put the question to you, Mr Mayor, with respect. A range of options. One of the options being looked at is merely that the restriction will be vehicles that meet Euro 6 standards. Now, as you know, that will be mandatory for all vehicles from next year. If what you are suggesting is the ultra low emission zone will only apply to new vehicles, and if that is applied, then you will have an ultra low emission zone in all of London, in fact, the whole of Europe by the middle of next year, so what difference will your emission zone make? It will be no different from what is already in place from the middle of next year.

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): We are not happy with and I certainly don't support the Euro 6 option; that is nothing like good enough, so I hope that reassures you on that point.

Stephen Knight (AM): That is very helpful.

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): I really think you need to be clear with what you are asking for because if you are seriously saying that, in only seven years time, we will be telling all drivers that they cannot use current technology in London, that is crazy and that is not what we are saying. We are saying that we want a deadline for new cars and I think 2020 is reasonable. We are now looking at whether we can actually bring that a little bit forward.