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Ok, so a question aimed (mainly) at Lpgc:

As you will know via LPG conversions London Black Cabs can have their 'lives' extended from the 12 years being proposed back to 15....
Q: Is it worth it ?

https://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/mayoral/24m-funding-boost-for-black-cabs

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Bolt, salt reactors look very interesting!
And I see that there's a possibility they could be used for Hydrogen production as an added bonus.

Gilbertd, I
Gilbertd wrote:

What gets me about the London ULEZ is that if you are prepared to pay the fee, you can drive what you like. The Congestion Charge was supposed to discourange people from taking their cars into the zone but when you look, it isn't Aunt Mable driving in to have a look at St Pauls, it's trade vehicles. The ones that don't have a choice. The ULEZ charge is just an extension of that to raise even more money.

It has nothing to do with congestion or air quality, unlike the system introduced in France. To drive into Paris, Lyon and Grenoble you need to display a numbered sticker. They go from 0, for EVs, to 5 for Euro 4 diesels. A GEMS petrol P38 is Euro 3 so should be class 3, but, as I declared mine as running on LPG, I got issued with a class 1, the same as a Hybrid. When the pollution levels are high, the higher numbered classes are banned from the zones. I drove through Lyon and round Paris on 22nd July, when they had the heatwave we got a couple of days later. Due to the high temperatures and no wind, pollution levels were high so vehicles in classes 3, 4 and 5 were prohibilted. So had I been running on petrol, I would have had to take the outer ring roads instead of my usual route. However, class 3 isn't just Euro 3 petrol it is also Euro 6 diesel, so no matter how new it was, if you were driving a diesel, you were prohibited. Interestingly, a similar system will never work here as the sticker only costs €4.10 so they'd never make enough money from it. Despite Sadiq Khan offering grants to London taxi drivers to convert to LPG, there's no concessions for the rest of us.

Incidentally, the best day I ever had driving in Central London was the day they predicted would be the worst, the day the bus drivers were on strike!

The French system is designed to lower pollution levels and looks very sensible to me. The London system is really designed to keep the hoi polloi out of the way. "VIPs" get armoured cars, the ultra rich can pay a negligible (for them) fee to drive whatever, wherever, whenever and the normal folks are "nudged" into keeping the SMMT happy by leasing new cars every three years whether they need one or not and irrespective of the environmental impact of treating motor vehicles as disposable white goods.

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davew wrote:

Ok, so a question aimed (mainly) at Lpgc:

As you will know via LPG conversions London Black Cabs can have their 'lives' extended from the 12 years being proposed back to 15....
Q: Is it worth it ?

https://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/mayoral/24m-funding-boost-for-black-cabs

Black cabs are diesel so need to have the engine changed before LPG conversion.

I was approached about this some time ago by a firm who are involved with the engine swaps but iirc the engine they were fitting was direct injection (I forget which engine) so isn't ideal for LPG conversion. Parts are available to convert the engine in question using port injection LPG equipment but the best way to convert a DI engine is a different type of LPG system that squirts LPG in via petrol DI injectors - Prins Liquimax or similar. I really don't like converting DI engines using port injection LPG equipment... I like to get LPG systems running spot on and it isn't really possible when fitting port injection to a DI engine, it's always a bit of a fudge, and besides, a DI engine running a port LPG system will always use a bit of petrol and the authorities may take exception to that.

The choice of engine (it being DI) could have been due to lack of decent research by the engine fitter, could have been due to there being a minority of engines (Euro6 compliant or whatever) that would fit in a black cab, or could have been because they had first seeked the advice of a Prins or similar dealer who advised the engine because it is DI to prevent the majority of installers from being able to be involved in converting the cabs! I'm a bit far from London and the profit margin on each cab wouldn't be great, worth it if I wanted to keep a big shop busy but I'm a one man band and there'd be a problem training people up if I decided to expand to cover such a contract.

Instead of London I've made a few attempts at making inroads into converting Leeds taxis (not black cabs) but it's proving difficult to get a response. My daughter is married to the son of a guy who used to be traffic/road planner for Leeds now retired (yes I know Leeds road planning is shit lol), I don't know the guy really, met him once at the wedding but may see if he can put me in touch with an organ grinder at Leeds council. Another obstacle is that councils tend to expect red tape / regulation, UKLPG play on this so councils are likely to want installers converting cabs to be UKLPG members... But I've been outspoken against UKLPG.

I'm getting a lot of enquiries from Leeds taxi drivers as it is but they want a system fitting for £800 etc... Was also approached by a firm that supplies taxis, they asked me to quote for converting 30 cars, the contract went to the lowest bidder which I knew definitely wasn't going to be me. Iirc the 30 cars were DI anyway and the installers would be fitting port injection systems on them (probably Stag)... Those 30 cars will get the lower price for entering Leeds but they will have all sorts of problems running on LPG and I expect to eventually put a lot of them right.

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They should just LPG convert some black P38s and give the punters a bit of luxury :)

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But with your sat nav, you'd never be able to get the punters to their destination......

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I think most of them use the Uber App nowadays ;)

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Maybe Morat has 'the knowledge' and doesn't need a satnav ;-)

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Sadly, I can (and have) got lost between the bedroom and the bathroom!

I wish I had more faith in our government(s) to fix global warming but with a 5 year horizon it does look like too much has been left too late.
I don't think that vehicle ownership is going to be something our grandkids will enjoy. I think it's more likely that self driving cabs summoned by Uber (or similar) will be the main way to get around for anyone who can't walk or ride a bike. Anyone wanting to actually drive will have to go to a track, no matter what the fuel used.

The self driving cabs make sense for the government. Lower emissions, lower freedom, higher surveillance. What's not to love?

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I seem to have missed something here......What is this "5 year horizon" you mention?

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We have a General Election every 5 years so the horizon for the current Government is 5 years maximum (if they manage to last that long, which it is getting increasingly likely they won't) so any plans or promises made by the current Government are only likely to be good for 5 years until a different lot get voted in. Sometimes the plans get carried over but in most cases the incoming Government don't want to make it look like the previous one had a good idea, so they come up with something different. No different to how Trump has cancelled many of the things Obama set out to do. It doesn't matter if they were a good idea or not, they weren't his idea.

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Joined: Jan 07 2016
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Ahhhh Thanks for the clarification.
I had recently read that as a planet we have 11 years, then total extinction....Unless, of course, we cease emitting carbon immediately......
Glad to hear that deadline has not been shortened to only 5!

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Joined: Jan 16 2017
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They had best do something about the planes then.

Incidentally I was working in Bristol today, and it appears they are bringing in some sort of Diesel zone from what was being said to cover the city centre area. Not very clear on what it was going to do, but would suspect it would be charging to enter the area as in other places.

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There's a map here https://www.buyacar.co.uk/cars/economical-cars/523/clean-air-zone-charges-where-are-britains-low-emission-zones with various proposed zones and, although Bristol isn't listed, it wouldn't surprise me if many more cities follow suit.

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Joined: Aug 07 2019
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how are the diesel with gas injection systems with emissions . I know they go well and run cleaner internally
my vision of the future is electric town vehicles and petrol diesel etc for the country . how many charging stations would you need to cross the Nullarbor in Australia, 3000kms. you can't use a standard power point, lets get real.

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Joined: Sep 02 2016
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Thanks for your detailed explanation about converting Black Cabs Lgpc: Overall then (longer-term) it may well be better for owners to take that paultry £10K grant towards buying an 'Alternative Fuel' vehicle after all (?)

  • Know what you mean about Councils though: "Lowest-bid / false economy" is how they usually operate (and badly).

Whilst I can understand the growing NOx problems etc in the bigger cities clearly some other towns are currently (or will be..) using this as a revenue-generator scheme of course, using pollution as their primary excuse....

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davew wrote:

Whilst I can understand the growing NOx problems etc in the bigger cities clearly some other towns are currently (or will be..) using this as a revenue-generator scheme of course, using pollution as their primary excuse....

Which is exactly what they are doing. The French (and German) system is much better for dealing with air quality but doesn't make any revenue so would never catch on here.

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https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1757-899X/148/1/012060/pdf

And interesting comparison of Petrol, Diesel, CNG and LPG.

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That's what I said so I don't think an extra 'exactly' helps Richard !

What concerms me is - as we know - just what an easy target motorists are 9which is why I mentioned 'indirect taxation' a few posts back.
The Councils I deal with tell me (eventually..) that Central Government have made such deep cuts now that they' really don't have any alternatives but to make up the shortfall elsewhere'. Bad signage seems to be their main 'tool' in that regard, CCTV being used to monitor those places and then issuing Tickets at £50+/pop. (The cameras are 15K..... and these places often raise £500K/year in fines.... !!)

Overall 'simply' I wish they (Politicians) would be more up-front about their motives/rationale but that's not how they operate of course... as they can, just about see as far as the next General Election, promising The Earth but then delivering a pile of manure.... (and The Kids are onto this like never before)

How crazy is it when an outgoing PM makes some 'statement' about us being 'Carbon Neutral by 2050'.. when she will be in her 90s !
How crazy is it that any of us believe all the 'promises' anyway ? Oh no, I can feel it all coming on now... How Dare They !

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davew wrote:

Thanks for your detailed explanation about converting Black Cabs Lgpc: Overall then (longer-term) it may well be better for owners to take that paultry £10K grant towards buying an 'Alternative Fuel' vehicle after all (?)

Would have to be more specific about 'alternative fuel vehicle' because that covers all of LPG, electric and hybrid vehicles. Assuming you mean a new electric only vehicle the taxi driver also has to weigh up how lack of range and charging time might cause downtime that could lose earnings... Downtime just driving around London but if he picks up a punter who wants to be taken to Oxford etc he may not be able to take the job. I dunno if black cab drivers often get asked to go that far!

It should really cost much less than £10k to swap the engine in a black cab and convert it to LPG.. But because of red tape and ill advice they're fitting an expensive new design petrol engine that will probably kick out similar (perhaps worse) emissions running on LPG than an older design petrol engine running on LPG. I've got mates who would happily buy a 2L Ecotec from a scrapyard and fit it in a black cab for maybe £1000, they'd probably do the first one for the fun of it (but would probably rather stick a V8 in lol). That done convert it to LPG. Would never happen due to red tape etc even though in reality this would be the best way to minimise emissions.

Expanding on the above point - The whole point is of course about emissions, granted local air quality (particulates etc) specifically in this case but also they want to lower general CO2 output. So could beg the question why fit a brand new engine when they could just have sourced second hand engines and rebuilt them, fitted them in cabs and converted to LPG.

For a short time many years ago I worked for a small firm producing custom vehicles, the type of very old fashioned looking vehicle that special herbal tea or small breweries buy to use as delivery vehicles, all custom built just about from the ground up. We even had to design and manually build one-off exhausts and pedal boxes for each vehicle, no 2 vehicles really the same. But we fitted a brand new expensive diesel engine in every one, the engine quite a high fraction of the overall cost of the car. The cars didn't do much mileage - I suggested we might offer to fit older scrapyard bought engines in the new cars for customers who wanted the special car but weren't fussed about them having a new engine if they could save £thousands, could have offered rebuilt old engines... the boss thought it a crazy idea.

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Sounds like those vintage looking French vans with corrugated sides that get converted into Coffee stands or Pannini Wagons. The ones I see at shows arrive and leave on a trailer anyway!