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Nissan Leaf taxi
In Spring 2012, NYC will receive six Nissan Leaf EVs as part of a test program to see how well all-electric vehicles would operate in the busy city

New York City will soon receive six new cabs in the form of Nissan Leaf electric vehicles (EVs) come Spring 2012.

Back in 2007, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that all NYC cabs would be hybrids by 2012. This green effort was further accelerated later in 2010 when Ford decided to close its Canadian plant that produced both the Crown Victoria and the Lincoln Town Car. Having to say goodbye to the traditional Crown Vic cab meant looking to other models, and Bloomberg was determined to make hybrid and electric vehicles the replacements.

New York City has since placed Camry Hybrids, Highlander Hybrids, Altima Hybrids and Escape Hybrids on its streets, and now, a new all-electric member will make its way onto NYC's busy roads: the Nissan Leaf.

In Spring 2012, NYC will receive six Nissan Leaf EVs as part of a test program to see how well all-electric vehicles would operate in the busy city. The Leaf has range of about 62 to 138 miles per charge, but a serious problem has been the lack of charging stations placed throughout the city.

However, the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission has announced that chargers will be placed at fleet garages, the homes of Leaf owners, and possibly in airport holding lots.

"This program is a real test with unknown results," said the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, addressing the upcoming unknown participants in the program. "We have worked to plan for the 'what if,' but there most likely will be bumps in the road. We want this program to be successful and hope that it will help lead to broader electric vehicle applications in the taxi industry, but we will need your patience and assistance to get there."

All six Leafs will be split up into pairs of two amongst three fleet-operators. Each pair will contain a single medallion, meaning that there will never be any more than three Leafs on the road at once.

While placing six Nissan Leafs is a great achievement for Nissan, the company also won the NYC "Taxi of Tomorrow" contest with its NV200 earlier this year.

Sources:, Jalopnik

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Epic Fail
By PaulTheCabDriver on 12/27/2011 1:29:52 AM , Rating: 3
As a cab company owner in a Phoenix AZ ( ) I can predict this experiment by Nissan to be an epic fail... First, the Leaf is far too small to be using as a cab. Second, the range is prohibitively short. Third, the recharge times are far too long. Anyone with an ounce of common sense would realize that before putting the Leaf to use as a taxi, even in an experimental mode. So, all the enviro-paranoids will just have to face another setback. In the mean time, I pity the poor drivers who have to deal with this thing during the test phase.

RE: Epic Fail
By phryguy on 12/27/2011 4:48:57 AM , Rating: 2
Why is it too small to use as a taxi?

I've seen Corollas used as taxis and 1st thru 3rd gen Priuses used as taxis. Leaf is classified as a midsized car (see my earlier post), as is the 2nd and 3rd gen Prius. Corolla and 1st gen Prius are a compact cars, per the EPA.

Did you notice that near the end it says this?
"All six Leafs will be split up into pairs of two amongst three fleet-operators. Each pair will contain a single medallion, meaning that there will never be any more than three Leafs on the road at once.

30 minutes using level 3 charging or 7 hours at level 2 to is too long when the car can't be active anyway?

RE: Epic Fail
By Ytsejamer1 on 12/27/2011 9:32:35 AM , Rating: 3
I think testing will gather the appropriate information...and is a good thing. It can't hurt to try something new.

But having one car charging, and one car out on the road...would that be the formula for ongoing service with the Leaf? For one car's worth of service, you need to buy two Leafs? That would be a waste on so many levels.

But I'll reserve final judgement and will be curious to see what the tests reveal and see how plausible it is using these 100% electric cars. I give them all credit for trying. Making smaller changes over time will start to add up...especially on that scale.

RE: Epic Fail
By topkill on 12/27/2011 1:28:05 PM , Rating: 2
You think that distances and speeds in Az have ANY relation to NYC and especially Manhattan ???!!!

To create a day-by-day look at the city’s traffic, officials crunched GPS information from nearly every yellow taxi trip taken in Manhattan’s business district — from 60th Street to the Battery — between November 2008 and October 2009.

In that 12-month period, weekday traffic in the district moved at an average of 9.5 miles per hour — about the speed of a farmyard chicken at full gallop.

This means a Leaf Taxi in NYC could EASILY do a 4-5 hour run, stop for 30 minutes at a charging station while the driver gets something to eat and goes to the bathroom and then drive another 4-5 hours.

Another 30 minute break to snack or go to the bathroom and they could finish a 12 hour shift...which some drivers do.
How would that be an "epic fail"???

And as a few of us have pointed out's a stupid, bloody TEST! You know...a way to see how it works and if they need an EV with 150 mile range or faster recharge, etc, etc, etc. A TEST!!!

On an ROI basis, the cost of the batteries would easily be paid for compared to a Crown Vic's 12mpg in city much does that taxi go through in gas a year?

In a 12 hour shift, they could cover 114 miles. If they worked 250 days a year, that's 28,500 miles and 2,375 miles at $4/gallon in NYC = $9,500 per year in gas! Over two years, you could pay for the batteries and they would probably last 5-7 years. That is a LOT of years with NO FUEL COSTS!

Before you guys start declaring things as a failure, you need to first educate yourselves.

RE: Epic Fail
By Spuke on 12/27/2011 3:07:33 PM , Rating: 2
Before you guys start declaring things as a failure, you need to first educate yourselves.

1. So a person that actually runs/owns a cab company is unqualified? Explain.
2. I didn't realize that the testing phase had already been completed and the results were made public. Please post a link to them. Thanks.

RE: Epic Fail
By Lord 666 on 12/27/2011 7:54:54 PM , Rating: 2
Here is the TLS study -

To answer number #1, many taxis are set up as individual LLCs to limit liability. Most of the drivers are not really qualified to make business decisions let alone hygiene decisions.

Here is another good ready on business decisions of drivers...

Fuel savings from a Crown Vic to a Prius works out to be about $30 a day.

RE: Epic Fail
By Lord 666 on 12/27/2011 8:02:45 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry about the typos;, TLC not TLS and read not ready

RE: Epic Fail
By Etern205 on 12/28/2011 12:27:35 AM , Rating: 2
Space and other don't matter.
It's the amount of time for it to fully charge is the problem.
They should go with Hydrogen, same time as it fill up like regular fuel and all it exhaust are water.
Honda Clarity FCX was one of them.

Isn't a Leaf's backseat too small for being a Taxi
By stm1185 on 12/26/2011 3:20:29 PM , Rating: 2
Looking up a picture the backseat of a leaf looks to be excruciating if your above 5 ft 5. And I doubt you could even fit 3 adults back there.

They should stick with midsize models for taxis.

By AssBall on 12/26/2011 3:57:26 PM , Rating: 2
Not to mention luggage?

By Shig on 12/26/2011 4:08:09 PM , Rating: 4
Leaf Rear Seats

Rear hip Room: 50.0 in.
Rear head room: 37.3 in.
Rear leg room: 31.1 in.
Rear shoulder room: 52.5 in.

Cargo capacity, all seats in place: 14.5 cu.ft.

Crown Victoria Rear Seats

Rear Hip Room (in) 56.1
Rear Head Room (in) 37.8
Rear Leg Room (in) 38.0
Rear Shoulder Room (in) 60.0

Trunk Volume (ft³) 20.6

By Jedi2155 on 12/26/2011 4:56:53 PM , Rating: 2
I love EV's and all, but I'm not sure if they would make a good Taxi. Their range is too limited for an all day work load and their space is still too limited. I would suggest a Fusion Hybrid or something along those lines instead.

By Omega215D on 12/27/2011 9:45:29 AM , Rating: 2
A lot of the NYC taxis are making the transition to hybrids (Fusion, Corolla, Explorer) along with VW Passat Diesel or petrol models. I would rather have those than EV for the time being as it's cheaper and have good range. Some Colbots and Volts are making their way into the taxi line as well.

NYC is already one of the greenest large cities in the US if not the world (it may not take the top spot) so there's no real rush to use full on EV, especially since most commuters rely on our massive transit system (which needs massive repairs due to being a 24/7 system).

It doesn't help that the anti-nuclear tards are working to rid NY of nuclear power.

By kattanna on 12/29/2011 10:18:54 AM , Rating: 2
It doesn't help that the anti-nuclear tards are working to rid NY of nuclear power.

which can only be replaced by building coal plants or importing power from elsewhere.. that burns coal

i do so love such short sightedness

By phryguy on 12/27/2011 4:41:09 AM , Rating: 2
If you'd done your homework by going to, looking up the '11 or '12 Leaf and clicking on Specs, you'd see that the Leaf is classified as a midsized car.

What a waste of money
By tviceman on 12/26/2011 4:47:49 PM , Rating: 2
A typical taxi will get what - 200-225 miles on a full tank of gas? A leaf gets typically less than 100. Filling a car's gas tank up takes only a couple of minutes and can be done way less often since a car can travel farther on a tank of gas than today's car batteries. How long does it take to recharge the leaf's battery? Surely not anywhere as short a time frame as it does to fill a gas tank up.

Wow. Just remember, we elect the people who make these decisions.

RE: What a waste of money
By Philippine Mango on 12/26/2011 6:19:06 PM , Rating: 2
Did you miss this?
In Spring 2012, NYC will receive six Nissan Leaf EVs as part of a test program to see how well all-electric vehicles would operate in the busy city


RE: What a waste of money
By phryguy on 12/27/2011 4:45:31 AM , Rating: 2
With the CHAdeMO level 3 quick charge port, you can charge a Leaf from dead to 80% in 30 minutes. In Europe, where they have plenty of L3 infrastructure, it let these guys do this:

Notice the article said that only 3 Leafs would be on the road at a time. They can have 3 out and the other 3 charging.

Level 2 charging is slower, taking ~7 hours from dead to 100%.

RE: What a waste of money
By Omega215D on 12/27/2011 9:53:48 AM , Rating: 2
Considering many of these are run in the city, and that some drivers are lead-footed when the light turns green or constantly switching lanes along with stopping and going in traffic or picking up/ dropping off passengers, the tank range can be in the high 100 - 225 mile range (older cars) or low 200's to 300 for newer efficient models or hybrids.

Hybrids make sense for the stop and go situation that is NYC (Manhattan mainly) traffic.

RE: What a waste of money
By CharonPDX on 12/27/2011 8:57:17 PM , Rating: 2
And how far does the average taxi drive in a single day? I know an urban taxi driver in Portland, OR who fills up his Prius once a week. A Leaf would make it a full day for him. And I could see New York having less driving distance per day than Portland, too.

cut to the chase Mr Mayor
By DockScience on 12/26/2011 3:52:45 PM , Rating: 3
Tiny cars make INCREDIBLY bad taxi's.
No matter what the unicorns and ponies tell you.

Can we expect battery powered police cars and firetrucks next?

RE: cut to the chase Mr Mayor
By AssBall on 12/26/2011 5:50:29 PM , Rating: 2
RE: cut to the chase Mr Mayor
By phryguy on 12/27/2011 4:54:14 AM , Rating: 2
See my above posts about the Leaf being classified as a MIDSIZED car. I've seem cars classified as COMPACTS being used as taxis such as the Corolla and 1st gen Prius.

At least the Leaf has more luggage volume (per the site I pointed to in my earlier post) at 20 cu ft vs. the '11 Altima Hybrid's 10 cu ft. (My mom has an 07 Altima Hybrid and I have an 06 Prius.) I've seen plenty of Altima Hybrids used as taxis.

RE: cut to the chase Mr Mayor
By CharonPDX on 12/27/2011 9:02:07 PM , Rating: 2
Why not? The Tesla S Performance model will do 0-60 in 4.4 seconds, go 300 miles per charge, and have a top speed of 130 MPH (electronically-limited - so a police model could theoretically be "unlocked" to do more if necessary.)

It is an EV test guys
By topkill on 12/26/2011 9:02:20 PM , Rating: 2
What part of "test" is it that you guys are having trouble with?

Nobody said this was the final product or the right size for a taxi, or the right range for a taxi, etc, etc, etc.

It's called a "test" for a reason: A method of gathering data for future use, the use of an intermediate model to improve, a way to find out if something know, a TEST.

You guys are so busy hating on anything new and different that you get all worked up about nothing. Did it say "NYC spent $10BILLION on these 6 vehicles?" Did it say "NYC has declared all new taxis will bill Nissan Leafs"???

What is the malfunction with you people?

RE: It is an EV test guys
By chemist1 on 12/26/2011 9:36:57 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly--this is a a great real-world test bed for these vehicles. It's through programs like this that we find what works and what doesn't, which is essential for getting these energy efficient vehicles to the point where they work well enough for general use -- which in turn benefits us all. To my mind, this is a beautiful example of the intelligent use of government resources.

RE: It is an EV test guys
By Omega215D on 12/27/2011 9:50:40 AM , Rating: 2
Yes but it's still to early for EVs as a taxi in a city like NY where it can be cut-throat competition among drivers. Anytime a taxi is off the road is money lost to the driver/ medallion lessee.

Where are the TDI Passat taxis?
By Lord 666 on 12/27/2011 9:49:45 AM , Rating: 2
Or would that be too logical?

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