Cabs will be required to be (at least) hybrid vehicles according to new rules from Transport for London that are set to come into place in 2018.
The Evening Standard reports that the rules will only initially apply to newly licensed vehicles, with cabbies renewing their license able to stick with diesel until their car gets decommissioned. Though TfL is clearly keen for cabbies to make the swap, as the transport agency is apparently stumping up £65m to help drivers make the transition.
There is also going to be new rules for minicabs and private hire vehicles - which will include the likes of Uber. In 2018 all newly licensed minicabs will likewise have to be hybrids - and by 2020 they will have to be "solely capable" of running on electricity. By 2023, it appears that TfL will be effectively forcing older vehicles off the road by saying that all private cars must run without emissions.
Apparently the goal is to get 9000 zero-emissions vehicles on to London's streets by 2020 in order to aid the creation of the "Ultra Low Emissions Zone" - and perhaps not coincidentally, a new hybrid taxi, the TX5, which has been designed with these new rules in mind, was unveiled last week during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping. [Evening Standard]