photo by shining.darkness (Flickr CC)

The hackney carriage, better known as a black cab, has been synonymous with London for around 100 years.

Though they’ve changed design over the years, becoming less spacious in the process, black cabs are still recognizable. Now they’ve gone electric.

A Nissan electric black cab, which looks a bit like a mix between a soccer mom’s minivan and a traditional black cab (4 door saloon car), is set to hit London streets as early as next year.

From the Guardian:

Nissan has promised that its new London taxi, a van-like vehicle, can eliminate 20% of the capital’s exhaust pollution caused by its 22,000 black cabs. But the carmaker warned that it was now down to politicians to make electric traffic a practical reality.

In 1999 a hydrogen powered black cab was trialled in London, but only three of the so-called “Millennium Cabs” were ever built and the company who built them, ZeTek, ceased operations in 2001.

Nissan will also build diesel engine black cabs, which look a bit more like the traditional ones and are 50% more fuel efficient than current models.

The main question now is fitting the city with enough EV chargers to power the new electric black cabs.