Despite the incentives given to hybrid taxi drivers in Boston, only 32 of the 1,825 cabs on the road are hybrids. In New York they decided to force cabbies and black cars to go hybrid. In Boston, they are trying to entice the drivers/owners.
The incentives are few, but quite enticing. Boston is offering $1,000 to those who buy a hybrid tax cab. Hybrid taxi drivers get to skip the line at Logan twice per shift. That means saving an hour, or a few $30 fares a day. You also get the gas savings. When the other choice is a Crown Victoria (around 13 mpg), that can lead to significant savings every day. Owners will like the lower maintenance costs.
The problem is the inital cost. When it costs $30,000 to hit the road with a hybrid cab, but only $10,000 to do so with a Crown Victoria outfitted as a cab, you can understand the reluctance.
The story from the Boston Globe has one glaring error in it. It actually states the hybrid batteries will need to be replaced after 100,000 miles and that is blatantly untrue. The warranty may run out (depends on the make and which state you're in), but some taxis in NY and SF have gone over twice as far without having any major issues relating to the engine or the battery.
"It's the new technology," said Gerakis. "Once you're in it, you realize the Crown Victoria is sort of a dinosaur."