• Apr 19th 2013 at 5:53PM
  • 8
On Earth Day, Monday, April 22nd, New York City will launch a zero-emission taxi fleet. Okay, it's just six Nissan Leaf vehicles and just a pilot project, but it's a start.

Nissan is providing the vehicles, along with some fast chargers, so the test fleet doesn't run out of juice and cause even more traffic gridlock (I live here, so I know about gridlock). According to Mayor Bloomberg's office, this EV taxi pilot "will enable Nissan, the city, the taxi industry and the public to learn more about how to integrate electric vehicles as taxis."

The Leaf, as we all know, is the world's best selling five passenger all-electric zero-emission vehicle. Nearly 60,000 Leafs have been sold globally, but not many in New York City, where few apartment buildings have garages and few public garages have charging stations.

The pilot Leafs will be made available to both individual owner-operators and taxi fleets, which must have space to install the chargers, be interested in new technology and be willing to provide the required feedback. There's a little more information in this PDF from the governor's office.

The Nissan Altima and Altima Hybrid already are popular as NYC taxis. The Nissan so-called "taxi of tomorrow" NV200 van is expected soon, too.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      From the point of view of the operators, it's free use of vehicles. But otherwise this just seems really dumb. The vehicles are not made for this, no partition and Nissan admits they are not heavy duty. No double shifting. And from Nissan's information it seems charging will dominate the driver's day, both on duty and on break. It is nice Nissan will be putting in fast chargers. I wonder if they will let non-taxi drivers use them too?
      2 wheeled menace
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hey, wait, New York... you know what happened in Japan with these batteries in these cars under many cycles a day over the period of a year, right? Is that money i hear being flushed in the distance? Carlos Ghosn screaming in horror because he knows this will be bad publicity for EVs?... Facepalmin' over here, big time.. Pick a car with a battery that can tolerate all these cycles.. lifepo4 or Toshiba's SCiB are fine examples.. for the love of electrons!
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        The use of the vehicles is free to the taxi operators. Equipment-wise, only Nissan takes it in the shorts. The only thing the operators have to lose is the time spent not getting fares because it is being charged and the money that might bring.
          • 2 Years Ago
          It might be worth it for Nissan to know EXACTLY how much punishment their EV batteries can take. It is obvious that it will fail. But Nissan might not know the exact timing of capacity loss based on high cycle usage. It is actually difficult to test this kind of thing in the laboratory. And wasteful since there is no actual productivity while cycling the battery in a lab. If they can get real world results, and taxi companies are willing to be a bit of guinea pigs for the sake of lower operating costs temporarily.... this may work.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ugh. I worry that it may end up like that Japanese Leaf Taxi experiment. Taxi drivers that become annoyed after a few years when the range becomes less and they have to turn down fares because they might not make to the destination or to the recharge station.
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