Hybrid cabs are doing well ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Hybrid cabs are doing well

Friday, April 21, 2006

Hybrid cabs are doing well

According to story at the Autochannel, hybrid cabs have been doing very well in the streets of San Francisco and New York City. Hybrids that are capable of shutting the gas engine off while the car is parked are theorized to be perfect fits for the stop and go traffic most cabbies in big cities are used to. Although some New Yorkers would prefer hybrid Crown Victorias, the cabbies aren't unhappy with their new SUV hybrids.

Although its too soon to tell how the New York cabbies are faring, the 30 hybrid SUVs in SF are now reaching the 100,000 mile mark and there's good news and bad news to report. First, they are saving money on fuel. When your average cabbie pulls 150-300 mile shift, they are reporting savings of between $20 to $31. Air conditioning is costing $5 less (runs off the battery in these SUV hybrids). And the brakes are lasting longer, since the regenerating system acts as a second braking system.

The bad news is several water pumps blew at the 50,000 mile mark. Whatever was causing that has been reportedly fixed, however.

The cabbies appreciate them, as well. "It’s nice to have an SUV that does so well environmentally and saves me about $5,000 a year," adds Allen Gotschberg, a Luxor driver who just rolled over 102,000 miles on his Escape Hybrid taxi.

The cab companies are waiting till they get to 150,000 miles on the cabs before making final judgements (i.e. will they buy more of them).

Environmental groups are trying to get more hybrids into more cities now, while Chicago will be putting hybrids into service beginning in 2007.

Probably the best news for the cabbies? "Everybody is most definitely enjoying the green benefits of the hybrids ... And drivers are reporting larger tips because of the environmental and novelty aspects."

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