All newly licensed black cabs in London must be powered by batteries from 2018, Transport for London has announced.
New black cabs will no longer use diesel and must be capable of running on an electric battery from January 2018, when 6,000 charge points will be in place all over London, according to provider Source London.
The current 22,319-strong fleet is mainly supplied by the London Taxi Company, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Chinese automaker Geely, and Mercedes-Benz.
Unable to get a response from either manufacturer, BEST has been unable to confirm the source of the batteries, although one contender could be BYD, who last week signed a deal to supply Scottish bus maker Alexander Dennis (ADL) with batteries for its buses.
Transport for London press officer Sean Colfer said that as cab drivers operated their cars on an independent basis, the choice would probably be theirs.
“As long as the car can be powered for as long as is needed, the companies can go with whatever battery maker they like.”
Cab drivers renewing their licences will be allowed to keep diesel models like the present industry standard TX4 until they are decommissioned, but extra cash will be available to encourage them to trade in their old cabs sooner rather than later.
A hybrid black cab was unveiled during the recent visit to the UK by Chinese president Xi Jinping.
The TX5 was revealed by the London Taxi Company and is expected to enter the market in 2017.
Rules for private-hire cars are slightly more relaxed, and they have until 2020 to be converted to battery power.