Boris Johnson launches air quality manifesto for London

  • Mayor of London Boris Johnson calls on Government and European Commission to match the Capital’s ambitious plans to tackle air quality to help London meet EU limits for nitrogen oxide by 2020, rather than 2030
  • New diesel cars levy announced with drivers set to pay a further £10 to enter London Ultra Low Emission Zones from 2020
  • Boris meets Metrocab’s first London cabbie and describes the zero-emissions taxi as “a masterpiece of British engineering”

London Mayor Boris Johnson and Lord Mayor Alderman Fiona Woolf have hosted the Corporation of the City of London Air Quality reception at the Mansion House, where a new Air Quality Manifesto for London was launched.

Mayor Boris Johnson, who arrived emissions free on his bicycle, was also offered a zero-emissions journey home by the new Metrocab’s first cabbie Tony Norris.

Tony Norris with his electric Metrocab

London Mayor Boris Johnson said: “In our Ultra Low Emissions Zones (ULEZ) all taxis are to be zero-emissions capable, which means drivers must switch over to electric drive when in the ULEZ.  The aim is to have 7,000 zero-emissions-capable taxis on the streets of London by 2020, and now is the time to move forward with these remarkable technological developments I have seen outside.”

Commenting on the new zero-emissions capable Metrocab, Boris Johnson said: “It’s superb, an absolutely beautiful machine and a masterpiece of British engineering. Totally silent, it’s the Rolls Royce of taxis and can do 100mpg.”

Speaking at the event, Fiona Woolf, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, said: “We are a world away from the thick and filthy fogs of Victorian London – and even from the post war ‘pea soupers’.  But we have a long way to go before London’s air quality is at the levels we want to see.  Our capital is home to a unique concentration of expertise and initiative, and this is a London-wide challenge – but it is also a global challenge.  Our goals will be achieved through cooperation between the London boroughs, London Councils, the Government and the GLA – who I congratulate on showing such excellent leadership.”

British designed, engineered and built to help London meet its air quality targets, the Metrocab from Surrey-based Frazer-Nash Research and Ecotive is a new generation zero-emissions capable range extended electric-powered taxi, and represents the cutting edge of green transport.

The Metrocab’s REE technology delivers a range of 560km, typically saving a London taxi driver £20-£40 per day based on the average day and night duty cycle in the capital.

Also showcased by Frazer-Nash at the Air Quality reception was a revolutionary new Solar Charging Station model, demonstrating the company’s Concentrated PhotoVoltaic Technology, which converts light energy into electrical energy for charging the Metrocab’s lithium-ion polymer battery pack. The company is trialling a full-size system at its Surrey headquarters and intends to roll out the charging stations in London and other key cities around the world.

Bentley Motors awarded triple Carbon Trust Standard

Bentley Motors has become the first automotive manufacturer to be awarded the triple Carbon Trust Standard for carbon, water and waste reduction. The certification was completed by the Carbon Trust, one of the world’s leading independent authorities on delivering carbon reduction and achieving greater resource efficiency. Bentley has now separately secured the Carbon Trust Standards for Carbon, Water and Waste having made significant reductions in these three key environmental areas at its Crewe, Cheshire headquarters.

Bentley factory

The certification has independently verified Bentley’s environmental achievements between 2011-2013, which saw the company achieve a 16 per cent reduction in CO2 relative to the number of cars manufactured, a 35.7 per cent reduction in water use and an absolute reduction in the amount of waste being produced.

Major projects have included the installation of over 20,000 solar panels, mounted on roofs across the factory, which have reduced CO2 generation by over 2,500 tonnes per year and contributed 286,200 kWh back to the national grid. Last month 20 per cent of the company’s electrical requirements were generated by solar energy.

Michael Straughan, Bentley’s member of the board for manufacturing, commented:

“There has been manufacturing here for nearly 80 years and customers admire the character and unique history of the site which we continue to respect. However, we have managed to also create an increasingly environmentally-friendly, modern manufacturing environment and will continue to target future reductions.”

The 339,000m³ factory is home to Bentley’s engineering and manufacturing functions with 3,700 colleagues working on site and producing a record 10,120 cars in 2013. Darran Messem, managing director of certification at the Carbon Trust said:

“We would like to congratulate everyone at Bentley for achieving the Carbon Trust Standard and contributing to clear year-on-year reductions of carbon emissions, water use and waste outputs. Bentley is clearly passionate about continuing to improve its environmental performance, which is reflected by the fact the company has consistently invested in new technology.

“We’ve also been impressed with the excellent levels of employee engagement with Bentley employing a dedicated Environment team and colleagues across the factory acting as Environmental Champions and pro-actively identifying new ways to save valuable resources.”

Volkswagen wins green award

The Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand has won the National Energy Globe Award Germany for its holistic environmental programme “Think Blue. Factory.” Earning particular recognition was its eco-friendly use of resources in production. With the Austrian Energy Globe Foundation as its patron, the award allows outstanding projects from all over the world with a focus on conserving resources, energy efficiency and using renewable energies to be honoured every year. The award was presented by the Austrian ambassador Dr. Ralph Scheide in Berlin.

“Being awarded the National Energy Globe Award Germany is both an endorsement and an incentive for us to organise vehicle production at Volkswagen in an even more environmentally friendly way,” said Peter Bosch, Head of Strategy, Processes and Structures for Production and Logistics at the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand at the awards ceremony in the Austrian embassy in Berlin.

“Think Blue. Factory.” is Volkswagen’s environmental programme, designed to help it to become a leader in ecological sustainability in production by 2018. A key objective is to restructure the plants to make them 25 percent more friendly to the environment compared to 2010 – in terms of energy and water consumption, CO2 and solvent emissions, as well as waste. And Volkswagen is making substantial progress: half of these objectives have already been implemented.

Friedrich-Wilhelm Gundlach, Head of Strategy and Competence Development of the Components management area, explains: “The success of ‘Think Blue. Factory’ owes a lot to the commitment of our employees in particular. Numerous ideas and experiences from the production locations are being consistently developed and refined, in particular thanks to the systematic exchange of information among each other. This allows us to turn our knowledge into a tool.”

The National Energy Globe Award Germany joins a multitude of national and international awards honouring “Think Blue. Factory.” and is the 24th distinction received since 2010. These have included awards as significant as the “Green Tec Award”, the “Lean & Green Efficiency Award” and the “Green Controlling Prize”.

The Energy Globe Award has been presented to environmental projects at regional, national and international level every year since 1999. Patron is the Energy Globe Foundation, which distinguishes the projects in cooperation with its partners in the respective countries. Innovative projects and initiatives from more than 160 countries compete for the awards every year.

“Think Blue. Factory.” is part of “Think Blue.” – the holistic approach of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand to ecological sustainability.