New York is adding to its hybrid taxi fleet ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: New York is adding to its hybrid taxi fleet

Monday, May 22, 2006

New York is adding to its hybrid taxi fleet

New York city will soon see a big increase in the number of hybrid taxis available. Of the 308 medallions for sale in June, 254 will be for vehicles that use hybrid fuel or compressed natural gas.

Currently, there are only 27 hybrid cabs in operation. There are 22 hybrid Escapes, two Lexus RX 400h's, two Toyota Highlanders and one Toyota Prius, according to the taxi commission.

Taxi drivers have indicated they are in favor of more hybrids since it saves them money. Drivers 'rent' the vehicle for the day and need to return the cab with a full fuel tank. When they drive a hybrid, they save money at the pump.

The taxi fleet owners would have more of a beef, given the added cost of buying a hybrid over buying a Ford Victoria up to $4 to $5,000 more for an Escape. In an incentive to purchase hybrids, the taxi commission offered medallions at reduced prices previously, but its not clear that such a deal will be offered this time around.

The Escape has less leg room in the back the Crown Victoria, which means the partition between the front and back will be missing. Instead, security cameras will need to be installed. Also, the dark tinted side windows will need to be replaced with clear glass.

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