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Just as the traditional black cab has been an icon of London streets for decades, little round green and white Beetles have served a similar duty in Mexico. Long after the Volkswagen Type 1 had ceased being produced everywhere else in the world, VW's Puebla Mexico plant continued to build Beetles until 2003. Many of those Beetles continue to shuttle passengers around Mexico City and elsewhere, but perhaps not for much longer. Just as cities like New York and San Francisco want their taxi fleets converted to hybrids over the next few years, Mexican officials want to retire the classic Beetles. Mexico City has some of the worst pollution in North America and the old bugs are blamed for at least some of the mess. Transport Ministry officials have set 2012 as a deadline for replacing the bugs but haven't yet picked a replacement. Whatever is selected will likely top the 19 mpg the Beetles get, and be safer and much cleaner.

[Source: Forecast Earth]

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