Entire New York Taxi Fleet to Go Hybrid

Mayor Bloomberg is mandating that the city's entire taxi fleet be hybrid - massively increasing fuel efficiency and saving the average taxi driver $10,000 in fuel costs. This is the kind of no-brainer that Democratic Mayors (and the federal government) should be mandating as well.

NEW YORK (AP) -- The city's yellow taxi fleet will go entirely hybrid within five years, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Tuesday.

''There's an awful lot of taxicabs on the streets of New York City,'' Bloomberg said. ''These cars just sit there in traffic sometimes, belching fumes.

''This does a lot less. It's a lot better for all of us,'' he said of the hybrid plan.

Nearly 400 fuel-efficient hybrids have been tested in the city's taxi fleet over the past 18 months, with models including the Toyota Prius, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid, the Lexus RX 400h and the Ford Escape.

Under Bloomberg's plan, that number will increase to 1,000 by October 2008, then will grow by about 20 percent each year until 2012, when every yellow cab -- currently numbering 13,000 -- will be a hybrid.

Hybrid vehicles run on a combination of gasoline and electricity, emitting less exhaust and achieving higher gas mileage per gallon.

The standard yellow cab vehicle, the Ford Crown Victoria, gets 14 miles per gallon. In contrast, the Ford Escape taxis get 36 miles per gallon.

In addition to making the yellow cab brigade entirely green within five years, the city will require all new vehicles entering the fleet after October 2008 to achieve a minimum of 25 miles per gallon. A year later, all new vehicles must get 30 miles per gallon and be hybrid. Bloomberg made the announcement on NBC's ''Today'' show.

Hybrid vehicles are typically more expensive, but the city said the increase in fuel efficiency will save taxi operators more than $10,000 per year. Yahoo Inc. said it would donate 10 hybrid Ford Escapes for the city's effort.

Shifting the taxi fleet to hybrids is part of Bloomberg's wider sustainability plan for the city, which includes a goal of a 30 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030. Part of the plan could include congestion pricing for drivers entering some of the busiest parts of Manhattan.

Turning over the taxi fleet by 2012 is not an impossible goal. The life of a New York City taxi is typically about three to five years; the city's Taxi and Limousine Commission requires all vehicles to be retired within a certain time frame.

Fernando Mateo, president of the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers, an advocacy trade group, applauded the city's effort to go green.

''In the short term, they're going to have to spend more money, but in the long run they will save money,'' he said. ''We support getting more hybrids on the road.''

The government does not own the city's yellow cabs, but sells licenses to individual drivers and operators, who must purchase their own vehicles that meet the specifications of the Taxi and Limousine Commission. The agency serves as the regulating and licensing authority for all vehicles per hire in the city.

Tags: Bloomberg, Climate, Climate change, Environment, Global Warming, New York City (all tags)

Comments

21 Comments

Re: Entire New York Taxi Fleet to Go Hybrid

Good idea, no maybe Democratic Mayors could do too. Having this in Chicago, Philly, Boston, and so forth would great.

by gobears 2007-05-22 01:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Entire New York Taxi Fleet to Go Hybrid

Great idea. Made for Hyrbids given they spend so much time idling and cruising for fares.

I would love to see this as a challenge to all big American cities.

If NY can do it, why can't everyone do it?  (That is a serious question, if any one knows inside scoop on NY Taxi set up).

by Orlando 2007-05-22 02:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Entire New York Taxi Fleet to Go Hybrid

The way it works in NYC is every 5 years Taxis come up for license renewal. The old taxis will be phased out over the next 5 years because non-hybrids will be denied renewal, making sure the new cabs will be Hybrid. This way by 2012, every cab in the city will be Hybrid.

Side Note, with Rudy in charge, this never would have happened. He absolutely hated the Taxis, with a burning passion.

by pierredude 2007-05-22 05:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Entire New York Taxi Fleet to Go Hybrid

I think I heard earlier that Toyota will have all of their models be hybrids by 2020.

by jallen 2007-05-22 03:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Entire New York Taxi Fleet to Go Hybrid

And people wonder why US car companies can't compete?  It will probably be 2030 before an American car company has a complete fleet of hybrid cars.

by John Mills 2007-05-22 05:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Entire New York Taxi Fleet to Go Hybrid

It's things like this that make me consider supporting Bloomberg under a Unity ticket if Edwards doesn't get the Dem nom.

by Vox Populi 2007-05-22 04:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Entire New York Taxi Fleet to Go Hybrid

I wouldn't support Bloomberg for President (I never voted for him for Mayor as a NYC resident) for a host of reasons including the fact he is a bit pompous and politically tone deaf.  

However, on issues I find very few places where I actually disagree with him.  He has generally been pretty good and is great on environmental issues including proposing funds to create "green" building and congestion pricing to reduce traffic in the central business district.

by John Mills 2007-05-22 05:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Entire New York Taxi Fleet to Go Hybrid

Split the democratic/democratic-leaning vote in the general and a republican could squeak by. We can't afford that. Sort it out in the family (the primary).

by Quinton 2007-05-22 05:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Entire New York Taxi Fleet to Go Hybrid

I think I'm going to do a diary on this, but Bloomberg is more progressive than a lot of Democrats running for president.  Don't forget he was a Democrat until the day before he filed to run for mayor in 2001.  For all intents and purposes, he still is.

by Vox Populi 2007-05-22 08:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Entire New York Taxi Fleet to Go Hybrid

Feel free to make your case for him, but unless he's going to run for the democratic nomination he should not be considered an option. Sort out issues in the primary, not in the general. Spliting our vote only makes it easier for a republican to sneak by. We live in a two-party winner takes all system. Third-parties are nothing but distractions and spoilers until the voting system is changed to allow for run-offs or IRV or some other system.

by Quinton 2007-05-22 09:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Entire New York Taxi Fleet to Go Hybrid

Like it or not, people do not prefer the Democratic Party.  They prefer it to the Republican Party, but most people consider themselves "independent," loyal to neither party.

If we want a true realignment to occur, one of the major parties is going to have to die.  Continuing a trend of 50% elections ad infinitum is not going to change the landscape.

Bloomberg has experience running one of the largest economies in the world, and has done it well.  I am not convinced that Bloomberg would siphon Democratic votes more than Republican votes, I think he has the ability to bring out voters who wouldn't otherwise vote (who might just cast votes for Democratic candidates for other offices) and in the end expand a progressive coalition.

by Vox Populi 2007-05-23 02:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Entire New York Taxi Fleet to Go Hybrid

If we want a true realignment to occur, one of the major parties is going to have to die.

OK, as long as it's the Republican party.

by KB 2007-05-23 05:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Entire New York Taxi Fleet to Go Hybrid

And at the current rate that might be the case.  I can't wait until the Democratic Party is the "conservative" party.

by Vox Populi 2007-05-23 05:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Entire New York Taxi Fleet to Go Hybrid

Great idea.  Other major cities should emulate us and hopefully this will cause them to.

by DemGenii 2007-05-22 04:23PM | 0 recs
by Vox Populi 2007-05-22 05:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Entire New York Taxi Fleet to Go Hybrid

This has been all over NY news today.  Very exciting.  

by John Mills 2007-05-22 05:17PM | 0 recs
I really like Bloomberg

I wouldn't vote for him for pres, but I think he clearly deserves to be commended for taking a stronger stand in the battle against global warming than most politicians (on either side of the aisle).

by Terryus 2007-05-22 06:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Entire New York Taxi Fleet to Go Hybrid

Why just Democratic mayors? Good policy is good policy, ALL mayors and city councils should be taking this kind of step! Sweetness!

by Nathan Empsall 2007-05-22 07:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Entire New York Taxi Fleet to Go Hybrid

True, though cities of any size all have democratic mayors.

by Quinton 2007-05-22 07:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Entire New York Taxi Fleet to Go Hybrid

Great idea.

by rikyrah 2007-05-22 09:18PM | 0 recs
Ford really dropped the ball...

by not coming out with a hybrid Crown Vic.

by ortcutt 2007-05-22 11:57PM | 0 recs

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