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Ford Crown Victoria Taxi  (Source: Wikimedia Commons / Henning 48)

Ford Transit Connect Taxi Concept

Toyota Camry Hybrid Taxi  (Source: flickr / Wai_Wah)

Nissan Altima Hybrid Taxi  (Source: Wikimedia Commons / Adam E. Moreira)
Crown Victorias which are used as taxis and police vehicles along with its Town Car cousin will end production next year

Just over three years ago, DailyTech brought you a story concerning New York's efforts to "green" its taxi fleet. The plan, according to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, was to make the city's 13,000 taxis hybrids by the year 2012.

According to the New York Times, those plans are coming closer to reality due to Ford's decision to close the Canadian plant which produces both the Crown Victoria and its more upscale relative, the Lincoln Town Car. In 2007, there were roughly 11,700 Crown Vic taxis in service within NYC. Today, that number is down to around 8,200 vehicles.

Some taxis fleets have decided to make the switch early to hybrid vehicles which explains the dwindling number of Crown Vics on the road. Traveling the streets of NYC today, you'll see Camry Hybrids (33 mpg city), Highlander Hybrids (27 mpg), Altima Hybrids (35 mpg), and Escape Hybrids (34 mpg) ferrying people from place to place. For comparison, the spacious Crown Vic gets an estimated 15 mpg in the city.

There's no question that the latest round of hybrids absolutely crushe the Crown Vic in emissions and fuel economy, but some aren't exactly thrilled with the smaller hybrid alternatives. Many point to the vast amounts of legroom, headroom, and the huge trunk in the Crown Vics as something that the newer hybrids can't match. “Literally, I can’t get in. And I would need a doctor to get out," said taxi fleet owner Kevin Healy of the Volkswagen Jetta which is also used sparingly as a taxi.

In addition, the Crown Vic is built on a heavy duty steel frame and is easily repairable, while hybrids have expensive electric motors and battery packs to take into consideration.

Although Ford will be discontinuing its Crown Vic for taxi service, the company is more than willing to get feet buyers to adopt the Escape Hybrid or the Transit Connect Van. While the Transit Connect cannot match the fuel economy of the Escape Hybrid -- it only achieves 22 mpg in the city -- it offers much more passenger/cargo room and has a high roof.

Just as the famous Checker cab had its fun in the sun only to be put out to pasture, it's now the Crown Vic's turn to pass the torch onto more fuel efficient vehicles. “These cars are a facet of people’s everyday experience,” said NYC taxi commissioner David Yassky. “Whatever takes their place will have a real and tangible influence on the city’s aesthetic.”



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RE: Ugly
By bruce24 on 6/28/2010 9:44:27 AM , Rating: 2
Who cares what it looks like, it's a step up as long it has some rear leg room, which the NYC taxi crown vic's don't.

One thing they have right in the UK is their taxi. It's ugly, but is easy to get in and out out and has plenty of room for 3, but can seat 5 passengers.


RE: Ugly
By hughlle on 6/28/2010 11:34:53 AM , Rating: 2
only for them to charge you the moon and the earth to use it haha. we need hong kong's taxi fares with UK taxis :)i've taken a taxi in the UK 3 times in 21 years due to what a rip off it is (what a rip off everything is, paid £4 for 25 minutes of parking earlier today..)


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