You may not be ready to switch to electric yet, but here is the reality: if you are the driver of an older TX, you won’t be able to carry on working for long without having to pay extortionate charges – and that’s until the vehicle gets banned completely…
Don’t panic, there is an alternative that doesn’t involve scrapping your cab and spending £55k: an LPG conversion may be the solution for you.
Plan Insurance Brokers have teamed up with Gascab, a Warwickshire based company that specialises in retrofitting vehicles with LPG / Petrol conversions. We can now offer our taxi insurance customers a guaranteed vehicle value on converted vehicles. This means that, if the cab is a write-off, we will pay for its value including the cost of the conversion, so you won’t be out of pocket.
Here you will find all the information you need about GasCab’s LPG repowering solution.
What is an LPG conversion?
Retrofitting, or repowering an existing vehicle, consists of taking the original engine out and replacing it with a brand new Petrol-LPG engine (so, even if the engine is broken, you can still get your cab converted, as long as all the other elements in the engine bay are fine).
Gascab will not simply tinker with your engine and add a gas cylinder in your boot. They will strip off the entire engine and replace it with a brand new 2L turbo engine, a complete new fuel system and tanks, a new exhaust, a new (on TX1 and TX2) or refurbished (on TX4) radiator and a new steering pump (on TX2 & TX4). Of course, everything will be fully fitted and tested, and they will even throw in a full tank of LPG and petrol for you!
The work takes approximately eight days: the installation only takes a few days, but after that the cab has to go through a series of tests.
Benefits of an LPG conversion
Many cities in the UK (including London, Birmingham and Reading) now offer a five year licensing extension of diesel taxis converted to the GasCab solution. In London, the Gascab repowering solution has been approved by TfL, meaning that, for example, converting a 15 year old TX would allow you to still drive it without paying emission charges until it is just under 21 years old.
There are numerous benefits to an LPG repowering solution. Here are the main reasons why you should consider having your TX converted:
- A fuel saving of 20 to 30% (compared to the diesel it replaces)
- A quieter engine and less vibration making for a much more comfortable cabin
- 5 years exemption to the life of your cab (15+5y from reg)
- A relatively low investment, with a return within a couple of years
- Lower maintenance bills, and convenient servicing (engine maintenance by appointed Bosch service centres, all other parts of the cab can be serviced at your regular garage).
- Guaranteed vehicle value when insuring your converted TX with Plan Insurance Brokers
- No range anxiety (300/400 miles)
- 50% discount at the Heathrow taxi feeder park
GasCab Conversion – How much does it cost?
The cost of the conversion is £11,760 (incl. VAT) for a TX1 and TX2 (this will rise to £12500 in March 2018; customers placing an order before the price increase will get the lower price). The tx4 conversion costs £12,990, and this includes upgrading the aircon to a modern Electric system.
So, you could get your own vehicle converted, and a few more years of peace of mind for less than a quarter of the cost of a new LEVC Electric Taxi… Gascab can arrange some finance options, to help you spread the cost.
And what’s more, GasCab offers a £100 discount to Plan’s customers!
As much as we would like to root for all electric, zero emissions vehicles, there is no denying that the world isn’t quite ready yet. Until range increases, far more charging point installations take place (with get generalised charge connectors) and vehicle purchase costs go down, we feel it will be difficult for everyone, and in particular for professional drivers to make the move.
With a GasCab conversion, you won’t ever need to worry about where to refill: LPG is widely available (see our LPG stations map below), and you always have the safety net of your secondary Petrol tank, giving you a total range of up to 400 miles.
Driving an LPG is a very pleasant experience for those who have been used to driving older TXs: the engine is quieter, with much less vibration in the cabin, and you aren’t subjected to breathing in the particulate matter spluttered out by an old diesel engine…
These days, with plans in place to cut down on emissions and the race to “go green”, we feel that an LPG conversion can give a bit of breathing space to those who can’t yet commit to purchasing an electric vehicle. This cost effective solution should see them through the next few years, while hopefully the infrastructure improves and the cost of electric vehicles goes down. In the meantime, we are happy to offer a guaranteed vehicle value on our taxi insurance policies for converted TXs.
If you are interested in a Gascab conversion, just ring Gascab today at 0203 026 2150 or visit www.GasCab.co.uk.
If you have any question regarding insurance for a converted cab, or wish to purchase your taxi insurance, call Plan Insurance Brokers at 0800 542 2743.