While many of us here in the US have yet to set butts into the seat of a zero-emissions vehicle, many in London will soon find themselves doing just that. The city’s famous black cabs are getting a fuel-cell variety that has just come out of testing and will be toting passengers soon.

After debuting in the summer of 2010 at The Engineer’s Technology and Innovation Awards, the cabs have had to undergo 8,000 miles of testing before being put into service. Now that they’re going live, the earth-friendly rides will travel 250 miles between charges, and charges should only take around 5 minutes.

The obvious question in my mind is why the rest of the world doesn’t have this technology at hand. By comparison, Nissan’s all-electric Leaf travels only 100 miles, and then requires a 30 minute recharge to even hit 80-percent of its battery life. Personally, I think it’s time that Nissan takes some cues from the taxi team, even if the cabs are a hybrid variety versus pure electric.

Londoners should start seeing the cabs soon, with a fleet of 20 expected to be on the road in time for the 2012 Olympics, according to an article at Fast Company.