Ford is hoping hybrid taxis become more popular ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Ford is hoping hybrid taxis become more popular

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Ford is hoping hybrid taxis become more popular

Ford is starting an eight city tour promoting the Ford Escape Hybrid, an SUV, as a great alternative to gas only taxis.

San Francisco and New York already have 40 and 22 hybrid taxis, respectively. With over 125,000 miles logged in San Francisco and 50,000 miles logged in New York, Ford is hoping other cities will take note of the durability of the hybrid technology.

Over the course of 100,000 miles, an Escape Hybrid Taxi will save approximately 1,666 gallons of gas over a conventional cab. Taxi drivers have to pay for their own gas and driving a hybrid SUV can save the driver $30 per shift in costs. So, convincing taxi drivers about the benefits of going hybrid is easy. It's the taxi fleet owners and local politicians who assign the taxi medallions who need to be convinced.

And that's where the durability testing of hybrid taxis in San Francisco and New York come in. If the Ford Escape Hybrid survives on the streets of New York, its likely to be seen as a successful alternative in other cities as well. In San Francisco, several water heaters blew around the 50,000 mile mark, but whatever issue they were having has been fixed.

Politicians will love talking about the 'green' aspects of hybrid technology. When they can stand up and tell their voters how the Ford Escape Hybrid will save or 32,000 lbs of carbon emissions over a conventional cab, that's good for them. The Escape Hybrid also meets California's AT-PZEV standard, the cleanest emission standard available for a vehicle that uses fossil fuels.

The taxi fleet owners will enjoy having more cab medallions available to them. They will also like the reduced costs in brakes (regenerative braking tends to reduced wear on the brakes), transmission and oil changes.

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