During a City Hall press briefing in New York
City today, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Nissan Americas
Chairman Carlos Tavares announced that the Nissan NV200 has been selected as
the "Taxi of Tomorrow."
Bloomberg set a goal to make 13,000 of NYC's taxi's hybrids by 2012 in a
project called the "Taxi of Tomorrow." This decision was made after a
Ford plant in Canada, which was known for making Crown Victoria's and Lincoln
Town cars, had decided to shut down. At that time, only 375 taxis were hybrids
while 11,700 Crown Victoria taxis were in operation. Today, over 4,300 NYC
cabs are hybrids. Some of the fuel-efficient
taxis that can be seen on the road are Altima, Escape, and Camry
taxi owners filed a lawsuit against NYC in an effort to stop Bloomberg's plan
to mandate all taxi drivers to purchase hybrids. This led to a legal battle
between the city and the Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade that went through
a series of lower courts. Lower courts ruled, "The power to regulate
emission standards belongs to the federal government." The Supreme Court refused
to hear NYC's appeal in early 2011.
then said he would lobby Congress to adjust the law in which the ruling was
based on, proposing a minimum fuel efficiency of 25 mpg in all city cabs and
that all taxicab owners with hybrids could charge higher leases on their cabs
-- both proposals were shot down by Judge Paul A. Crotty of Federal District
Court in Manhattan. Other U.S. cities joined NYC's appeal with concern for the
environment, and the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission even held a
contest to find a replacement taxi vehicle by 2014.
later, the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission has has
made its selection, and it chose the Nissan NV200. "Nissan is proud to
provide the next generation of taxis for the city of New York," said
Tavares. "The NV200 taxi will give Nissan the opportunity to showcase our
dedication to vehicle quality and urban mobility to more than 600,000 passengers
Nissan NV200 taxi will be produced at Nissan’s plant in Cuernavaca, Mexico. The
retail price (MSRP) will be about $29,000, and the taxis will feature a 2.0L
4-cylinder powertrain, room for four passengers as well as luggage, a low-annoyance
horn, lights that indicate when the vehicle is honking, overhead reading
lights, sliding doors with an entry step and grab handles, and
independently-controlled rear air conditioning. In addition, the vehicles will
feature a grape phenol-coated air filter, six-way adjustable driving seats for
comfort, a transparent roof panel, a driver's navigation and telematics system,
and a mobile charging station complete with two USB plugs and a 12V electrical
safety, the Nissan NV200 will feature front and rear-seat occupant curtain
airbags, lights that indicate when taxi doors are opening, and standard
traction control as well as Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC).
Nissan NV200 was selected over two other finalists, which were Ford Motor Co.
and Karsan models. After using Ford's Crown Victoria's for years, one has to
wonder why NYC didn't choose one of the Big Three automobile manufacturers to
supply the new taxi cab fleet.
NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission was initially searching for a replacement
taxi vehicle, Ford even noted that it
would be happy to supply the Escape Hybrid or Transit Connect Van.
city's Taxi of Tomorrow is the Nissan NV200 - and it's going to be the safest,
most comfortable and most convenient cab the city has ever had," said
Bloomberg. "We started this process to leverage our taxi industry's
purchasing power to get the highest quality taxi, one that can expand and
redefine the legendary image of New York City taxicabs. The new taxis will be
custom-designed to meet the specific demands of carrying 600,000 passengers a
day in New York City traffic and the vehicle meets the top priorities
identified by the public in our online survey."
plans to work with NYC and taxi owners on a pilot program that studies how
electric vehicles work as taxis.
Nissan will equip six taxi owners with 100
percent electric Nissan Leaf EVs for testing. In addition, charging
stations will be set-up to encourage electric vehicle adoption.