Chris was closely involved during 2019 in undertaking research within the tax sector as part of wider study looking at the remanufacturing of London black cabs for use with alkaline fuel cells as DEFLs (direct ethanol fuel cells). Rising concern about air pollution in cities such as London, is leading to a move towards the use of cleaner and more sustainable fuels. While hybrid EVs are currently being rolled out, DEFLs offer the potential as a better alternative.
Research aimed to provide information on the opinions of potential users of such a remanufactured taxi, as well as the wider market conditions towards alternative fuels. Interviews were undertaken with those involved with the London, and wider, taxi market as well as third parties. Methods employed included face-to-face, telephone as well as Twitter, with the latter proving highly successful in encouraging memberships of two driver organisations to complete an online questionnaire.
Key findings were largely positive. Interest in a zero emission remanufactured taxi was as high as 86.1%, with support for an ethanol fuel cell at 70.4%. Of particular significance for the project is the fact that 63.2% said they would consider acquiring a remanufactured cab powered using an ethanol fuel cell.