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Ford Escape Hybrid
Hybrid fever strikes New York City

Given the stop and go nature of traffic in New York City, the promise of increased fuel efficiency from hybrids is too good to pass up. Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced yesterday on the "Today" show that every yellow cab will be a hybrid by the year 2012.

There are roughly 13,000 taxis roaming city streets (90 percent of which are gas guzzling Ford Crown Victorias). According to Bloomberg, 20 percent of the existing yellow cab fleet will be replaced each year until all are running on hybrid power. Currently, there are only 375 hybrid taxis on the road in NYC.

"There's an awful lot of taxicabs on the streets of New York City obviously, so it makes a real big difference," said Bloomberg. "These cars just sit there in traffic sometimes, belching fumes; this does a lot less. It's a lot better for all of us."

There are currently eight vehicles on the city's "approved" list when it comes to hybrid vehicles to be used as yellow cabs: the Ford Escape Hybrid; the Honda Accord Hybrid and Civic Hybrid; the Lexus RX400h; the Saturn Vue Green Line; and the Toyota Highlander Hybrid, Camry Hybrid and Prius. As more manufacturers roll out fuel efficient hybrids, the number of possible candidates is sure to increase. Vehicles like the Saturn Aura Green Line and rumored Ford Fusion hybrid are likely to join the list.

Ford Crown Victorias are rated at 15 MPG in city driving. A Ford Escape Hybrid, however, is rated at 31 MPG in the city according to the new 2008 EPA estimates. Hybrids like the Camry and Prius are even more fuel efficient at 33 MPG and 48 MPG respectively.

The Ford Escape Hybrid has already seen extensive use in San Francisco. Taxi operators reported on their vehicles once the 100,000 mile mark was surpassed. According to the operators, fuel savings compared to the Crown Victoria were between $20 to $31 per shift. Air conditioning costs were also roughly half that of Crown Victorias. Another plus was that the brakes lasted twice as long due to the hybrid system's regenerative braking feature taking a load off the traditional braking system. Most importantly, there were no complaints of poor rear legroom from passengers.

Yahoo Inc. has already committed to donate 10 Ford Escape Hybrid taxis according to Bloomberg.

When all is said and done, the switch to a completely hybrid yellow cab fleet will save each taxi operator over $10,000 USD per year in fuel costs while also cutting total carbon emissions by 200,000 tons per year.



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RE: Probably not a bad move
By PitViper007 on 5/24/2007 10:31:08 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Also, to import a barrel of ethanol from Brazil costs about half what is required to produce ethanol from corn in the US.


quote:
So basically the US is subsidising an inefficient and expensive way of manufacturing ethanol, rather than going for the cheaper import option from its nearby neighbour.


The whole point of using ethanol as a fuel source is to 1) give us a renewable fuel source, and 2)reduce our dependence on foreign suppliers. The resulting wastes from burning ethanol as a fuel have been proven to be worse for the environment than actually burning gasoline, so that isn't even an issue with ethanol, not to mention that the gas mileage is lower with an ethanol based fuel.

http://www.businessweek.com/autos/content/apr2006/...

I do agree with you though that there are much more efficient ways of producing ethanol than by using corn. You put forward (as does the author of the article I linked to) that sugar cane is much more efficient. While I agree with that, sugar cane isn't grown in the US in any great quantity, negating being self reliant on fuel. Sugar beets however are, and I think that you could get ethanol out of them as efficiently as you could from sugar cane, since there's about the same amount of sugar in the two. I'm not a scientist, so I don't know for sure, but it makes sense to me.

PitViper


"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007














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