Last week I took a ride in a ‘new’ LPG powered taxi cab that could lead the drive to improve the city’s air quality by cleaning up the city’s diesel taxi cabs.
Polluted air quality is a serious concern for Cardiff, which has the second highest carbon emissions in Wales after Port Talbot. This is linked to over 1,000 premature deaths in Cardiff every year. The main cause of the problem is vehicle emissions and people commuting into Cardiff by car.
Diesel powered taxi cabs have been identified as one of the biggest emitters of two key harmful pollutants, NO2 and particulates, representatives from Autogas Limited briefed [Name] on its newly converted taxi which runs on cleaner autogas LPG.
Cardiff Council should seriously consider LPG as a quick and cost effective option for taking older diesel taxis off the road. The cost of electric vehicles; over £40,000, is beyond the reach of most cab drivers and we do not yet have the necessary infrastructure for re-charging their batteries. In contrast, the cost of converting an existing diesel powered taxi to LPG costs approximately £8,000. Drivers could recoup the cost of conversion in less than two years as the price of LPG is around 20 per cent lower that gasoline or diesel. This is an excellent candidate for Invest to Save type funding, and a first step for Cardiff to introduce a ‘Clean Air Zone’.