Cabbies say the crippling costs of replacing their vehicles with hybrid or electric ones will drive many of them out of the industry.
The warning comes after Transport Secretary Chris Grayling suggested private motorists should also opt for lower emission cars rather than diesel.
Black cab drivers complain that they are already bearing the brunt of EU low-emission targets.
The Express reports that in a bid to comply with the guidelines, Birmingham City Council has proposed banning taxis that do not meet EU standards, a move that could force drivers to fork out up to £45,000 for new cabs.
Under the proposed rules, only cabs that reach the Euro 3 standard will be given licences in December and by December 2018 the vehicles must be Euro 6 compliant.
By 2026 all black cabs must be ultra low-emission vehicles, electric or plug-in hybrid, and by 2030 they must all be zero emission.
More than 500 taxis would be forced off the roads by the end of this year, while the city’s entire 1,300-strong fleet of black cabs would be obsolete by 2018.
The council said the moves were for the “greater good of all citizens above the interests of individual drivers”.
Zak Kowalski, a cabbie for 44 years, said: “I am 68. I was hoping to have a few years left but there is just no way I can afford a new cab now.
“It is very misguided. The infrastructure is not there for electric cabs, there are no chargers, or engineers to work on them here.
“I don’t think people realise how big this is. It could well see the death of the black cab industry.”
In September 2015 Roger Bartlet, 58, bought a £30,000 Ford Torneo taxi that will now be obsolete by December 2018. Yet he will still have two years of payments left.
He said: “It’s dreadful. I put my savings down on a deposit, everything I have.
“I will still have the debt after this change but now how can I sell it?”
There are fears that taxi drivers in cities across the country will be facing similar choices in the future.