London May Replace Taxis with Mercedes Vans

Mercedes Benz Vito

Could London's ubiquitous Black Cab soon be replaced with Mercedes-Benz vans?; If EcoCity Vehicles, a British firm involved in taxi preparation, has its way, the answer is yes.

Through its KPM subsidiary, EcoCity plans on offering a taxi version of Mercedes-Benz's Vito minivan.; EcoCity claims the Vito is a more efficient and "greener" option than the traditional London cab, but hopes the Vito's other strengths - passenger comfort and cargo capacity - will help it compete against taxi manufacturer Carbodies Limited.; Carbodies' current offering, the TX4, is the descendant of the original Austin FX4 cab and presently monopolizes London's taxi fleets.

Changes we expect to see for the Vito taxi include a driver's partition, a roof-mounted occupancy lamp, and a ramp and tie-down provisions for wheelchairs - a legal requirement in London since 2000.

Although current Vitos are equipped with Mercedes-Benz's 2.2-liter turbo-diesel I-4, we're waiting to hear just how "green" these taxis are.; EcoCity claims the vans create less carbon dioxide emissions than the 2.5-liter turbodiesel I-4 in the TX4, but the exact figures won't be announced until the Vito's launch next weekend.

Source: The Telegraph

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