The New York Taxi and Limousine Commission has approved the Nissan Altima and Chevrolet Impala, which join the Ford Transit Connect, on the list of vehicles approved as interim taxi cabs for the Big Apple. According to USA Today, New York cab companies are permitted to purchase those models for fleet duty until the Nissan NV200 "Taxi of Tomorrow" goes on sale. The NV200 beat out competitive designs from Ford and the Turkish Karsan V1 to earn the taxi commission's nod, though the Nissan isn't set to be available until 2013 at the earliest.

In the meantime, cab companies are going to need vehicles to replace their aging fleets of Ford Crown Victoria sedans. That's where the new models come in. Once incorporated into cab company stables, they can remain until they retire, even past the 2013 arrival of the NV200. Once that date arrives, however, the Nissan Van will be the official vehicle of the New York taxi service.

Click past the break for an official press release from Nissan.
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U.S.-BUILT NISSAN ALTIMA APPROVED FOR NEW YORK CITY'S TAXI FLEET; NISSAN ADVANCES "TAXI OF TOMORROW" PROGRAM

Nissan Americas today confirmed that, beginning immediately, the U.S.-built Nissan Altima has been approved for use in New York City's taxi cab fleet by the City's Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC). Currently, approximately 306 hybrid-electric (HEV) Nissan Altima units are in use as taxi cabs on New York City streets. In a rule-making meeting today, TLC officials extended approval to include the non-HEV version of Altima, a top-selling sedan in the United States.

The expanded approval for Altima in New York City's current taxi fleet is the latest TLC announcement involving Nissan. In May, Nissan was selected as the exclusive provider of the City's next-generation "Taxi of Tomorrow," beginning in 2013. Since Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the selection of Nissan's NV200, Nissan has collaborated with the City to confirm design specifications for the new taxi, and has begun preliminary vehicle engineering and production planning, as well as baseline safety testing, for a purpose-built vehicle that will be specifically tuned to the city's streets.

"We're excited about the expanded opportunity for New York taxi drivers and passengers to experience the Nissan Altima," said Joe Castelli, Nissan's vice president, Fleet & Commercial Vehicles. "We're proud that Nissan was selected to provide New York City's Taxi of Tomorrow and we're focused now on delivering the safest, most comfortable and most convenient taxi ever to travel the City's streets. While our work on that program is underway, we're pleased that Nissan can increase its presence in today's New York taxi fleet."

To date, Nissan has manufactured more than four million Nissan Altima units at its Canton, Miss., and Smyna, Tenn., vehicle assembly plants. The vehicle consistently ranks as a top-seller in its segment and the HEV version has been part of New York City's taxi fleet since 2009.

As part of the Taxi of Tomorrow program, Nissan also will work with the City and taxi owners on a pilot program to study the use of zero-emission, electric vehicles as taxis. Nissan will provide up to six 100-percent electric Nissan LEAFs to taxi owners for testing in 2012 as well as the charging stations to support their use.

About Taxi of Tomorrow
In 2007, City officials convened a group of stakeholders, including representatives of taxi drivers, owner and passengers, to create a set of goals for the next New York City taxi cab, a project called the Taxi of Tomorrow. In December 2009, the TLC issued a "request for proposals," inviting auto manufacturers and designers to submit their best ideas for a purpose-built vehicle to serve as a New York City taxicab. At the end of the evaluation, the Nissan NV200 was selected and will be the next New York City taxicab for ten years, beginning in 2013.

About Nissan Americas
In the Americas, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and was recognized as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency in 2010 and 2011. More information on Nissan in North America, the Nissan LEAF and zero emissions can be found at www.nissanusa.com.

About Nissan
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan's second largest Japanese automotive company by volume, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan and is an integral pillar of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 150,000 employees globally, Nissan provided customers with more than 4 million vehicles in 2010. With a strong commitment to developing exciting and innovative products for all, Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of fuel-efficient and low-emissions vehicles under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. A pioneer in zero-emission mobility, Nissan made history with the introduction of the Nissan LEAF, the first affordable, mass-market, pure-electric vehicle and winner of numerous international accolades including the prestigious 2011 European Car of the Year award.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 16 Comments
      lne937s
      • 3 Years Ago
      Considering that the Altima hybrid has already been used as a taxi for a number of years here, the outfitters already have taxi packages ready. Impala police cars should also make outfitters familar enough that a package could go in quickly. Both of them have been out a while and have a ready supply of parts available, so they make sense for replacement vehicles for the next year and change untill the NV200 takes over.
      transam
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm very disapointed that NYC did not choose a domestic brand, why are we not supporting our own industry? I dont see a city in Japan choosing an American brand for taxi duty. I hope at the very least that the Nissan will be built in a factory in the US. As for Unni's comment, why do you comment on the Impala only, the Altima's allowed for duty are non-hybrid only. Hybrids make very little sense, they are not that much more efficient that gas-only and what about the replacement cost for the very expensive battery packs. I think that efficient gas-only and diesel are the way to go.
        Bscar
        • 3 Years Ago
        @transam
        I don't really care for hybrids personally, but I am aware that stop and go city traffic is where they are meant to be used for best results. And taxi services would benefit from hybrids. Also, I dunno if any Prius taxi has had it's big batteries replaced and some are going well over 200k miles
      Unni
      • 3 Years Ago
      They should not allow impala as its not Hybrid . The rule needed is if taxi car - min mpg should be 35 mpg combined ( look at Vancouver , most taxi's are PRIUS and 45mpg + makes real sense )
        Unni
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Unni
        City taxi's is better if they have boxy hybrids because Hybrid - City mileage is good Boxy - Convenience,space
      bonehead
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ive always thought that the scion xB would make a great taxi. It has a back seat larger than most large sedans, it has massive headroom. there is a large hatch for storing things, it is dirt cheap, and being short, it would be easier to park. for instance scion xB $16k rear legroom - 38" rear headroom - 41.2" cargo - 21.7 cu.ft. length - 167" Altima $20k rear legroom - 35.8" rear headroom - 36.8" cargo - 15.3 cu.ft length - 190.7"
        • 3 Years Ago
        @bonehead
        [blocked]
      richsra
      • 3 Years Ago
      We need a poll: If you are in NYC and need to hail a taxi, which one would you prefer to ride: 1)Chevrolet Impala 2)Nissan Altima
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Vr00m
      • 3 Years Ago
      I am ashamed of NYC for picking a foreign manufacturer for their taxis when a Japanese using American taxis is inconceivable. Nissan is destroying all that America stands for, go to Nissan.com to find out the truth
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