- On August 20th 1952, the first diesel-engine powered
taxicab was passed for service by the Commissioners of Police of the
Metropolis. This vehicle
was one owned by Birch Bros. Ltd., into which had been fitted the 2.1
litre diesel engine manufactured by the Standard Motor Co. Ltd., and
as normally installed in Ferguson tractors.
- The installation had been the subject of research and development
during the previous twelve months in which the Standard Motor Co., the
Freeman Sanders Engine Co., and Birch Bros., had worked in close
co-operation, the engine having been modified to run at speeds up to
3,500 r.p.m. as against the tractor version speed of 2,200 r.p.m.
- By the end of 1952, whole Birch fleet of 30 taxicabs had been
converted and these vehicles have now performed nearly 1,500,000
million miles at an average fuel consumption of 32 miles per gallon.
- By the middle of 1953 sufficient operating experience had been
obtained to satisfy Birch Bros., that the engines would be very
long-living and would maintain their performance. Steps were therefore
taken to introduce the engines to other operators.
- During the past twelve months more than one thousand conversions of
London taxicabs to diesel, using the modified Standard engine, have
been made and these vehicles are now performing in excess of there
million miles per month at a fuel saving of about 1 ½d. per
mile, the annual rate of saving being nearly £250,000.
- The small high-speed diesel engine has come to stay and the Standard
engine which pioneered the project will long remain the only proved
engine suitable for taxicab work.