Right about now, Nissan must be wishing it had a baked-in a shorter development time for its NV200 hybrid. Nissan started production on the taxi version of the NV200 about a year ago and has previously stated it will offer a hybrid version out by 2015.

But that's late enough that the Japanese automaker's foothold on future New York City taxi sales is looser than it otherwise would have been. Last week, New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission voted to allow cab drivers to buy their own hybrids as an alternative to the NV200 minivan cab, the New York Daily News reports. Two years ago, the gas-powered NV200 was named by the city government as NYC's "Taxi of Tomorrow" because of features including available features like a glass roof and on-board cell-phone rechargers, not to mention its roominess and relative fuel efficiency.

The city was set to start pushing for the taxi-fleet switchover in October but has faced legal opposition in recent months from the state's Supreme Court, which now says the city's mandate is unenforceable, in part because it doesn't offer fleet owners a hybrid alternative.


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  • 32 Comments
      Basil Exposition
      • 1 Year Ago
      "NYC says taxi drivers can choose hybrids over Nissan 'Taxi of Tomorrow' Good. I hope they all do.
      2 wheeled menace
      • 1 Year Ago
      Wow, how generous for the people's republic of New York to allow such a broad range of choices! Your chocolate ration has been increased to 20 grams, New Yorkers! ;D
      2 wheeled menace
      • 1 Year Ago
      Seems like a Prius or similar hybrid would just be a logical choice. Gee, gas is around $4/gal, would a taxi operator make more money if they operated a Crown Vic that gets ~15mpg or one that gets 45? Wouldn't the lower operational costs just pay for themselves - and whoever is still driving a Crown Vic is putting themselves at a competitive disadvantage? do we really need a law? I know, i know, i'm a crazy libertarian..
        EZEE
        • 1 Year Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        Hey 2Wheel! I have talked to taxi people and the issue is only, very partially, due to fuel mileage. Whenever in a taxi or limo, look at the odometer on the 'Vics (and anything Fox based - Marquis, Town Car) - you will many times see the odometer at 400,000 or greater. They tell me that the car is easy to fix, cheap to fix, and just keeps going forever. The technology is also from 1979 (when the Fox platform came out), and there have been SO MANY built, that there is also the option of going to junk yards for parts. I have asked non-vic drivers what they think of their cars (doesn't matter which) and it is all 'hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate.' I got a ride from a guy in the PT Cruiser and after asking, I didn't get to talk much! Even after an accident - slap the thing on a machine that straightens frames, replace parts - drive away. I agree with your crazy libertarian views though - let people buy what they want. I remember when there was an article on some guy that wanted Nissan Leaves. The government screamed. I cannot imagine that if they DID run out of a charge, people would ride them often. Failure for the cab company then. His loss. But yea - crazy libertarian.... :)
        Jesse Gurr
        • 1 Year Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        I don't know. I thought that taxi drivers don't actually own the taxis they are driving. Someone else does. The operator doesn't pay for gas, the driver does. So it doesn't matter to the owner of the taxi what mileage it gets because the owner doesn't pay for the gas. The driver doesn't get to pick what he drives on any given day. This was highlighted when Sandy hit and drivers wanted the hybrids but they were assigned to them, they couldn't just pick the hybrid. ROI would be very good for hybrids, but the problem is that the ones who buy the cars aren't the ones that pay for gas.
      daveogermany
      • 1 Year Ago
      Kill it with fire!
      Deneway
      • 1 Year Ago
      Most of the cabs I rode in NYC recently were hybrids. Altima Prius Camry Escape were all represented. Others included the transit connect which was the best of the bunch and CNG powered
      Scr
      • 1 Year Ago
      As soon as the next dictaor of NYC is selected into office, the 'taxi of tomorrow' mandate will just go away. That, and the pile of lawsuits will totally nullify it, as the chosen vehicle doesn't even meet the criteria laid out for the competition. It technically should have been disqualified.
      EZEE
      • 1 Year Ago
      So wait...is there only one taxi service in NY, and is it run by the government? If not, why would the government be dictating what vehicle had to be used? This paragraph made my head explode (if there are private services): The city was set to start pushing for the taxi-fleet switchover in October but has faced legal opposition in recent months from the state's Supreme Court, which now says the city's mandate is unenforceable, in part because it doesn't offer fleet owners a hybrid alternative.
        dreadcthulhu01
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EZEE
        In NYC the taxi services are privatly owned, but the city government highly regulates almost all facets of the service - how much they can charge, what forms of payment they have to take, how they get fares (with taxis you hail on the street separate from livery services you call), strict limits on how many taxis are licensed to operate in NYC, and so on.
      EZEE
      • 1 Year Ago
      wow - alfonso mentioned bunker oil - he is like an angry Marco....
      Vlad
      • 1 Year Ago
      Alfonso, Hybrids do in fact need about all the maintenance a regular ICE car does, but... their engine operates under less stress thanks to help from the electric motor, and their brakes wear much less. Their reputation for reliability and low maintenance is not a theory anymore, it is well earned. Pure EVs need even less. Nissan tries to make you change the cabin filter after 12 months, because aside of tire rotation there is nothing to do! And tires are the first thing you will need to replace. EVs haven't been on the road in significant numbers for a long enough time, but they absolutely do have a potential for close to zero maintenance cost.
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm sorry, but unless I'm missing something, I don't understand the "relative fuel efficiency" part. A truck is still a truck (big, heavy, etc). Unless the average taxi pick up is four people, I don't really get how is this useful. You get 5 seats and room for a ton of luggage, but 90% of the time you use it to carry a single person holding a briefcase.
        Samuel Look
        • 1 Year Ago
        Because New Yorkers were somewhat against resorting to tuk-tuks
        Jesse Gurr
        • 1 Year Ago
        Maybe cuz its better than the 12 MPG Crown Vics.
          JChan
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Jesse Gurr
          I'm still feeling the claustrophobic panic attack that hit me when I sat 3 across in the back seat of a Manhattan Crown Vic last year. CVs look cool and are easy to wrench, but that's about it.
        The Wasp
        • 1 Year Ago
        This is not a truck.
      • 1 Year Ago
      I can deal with the space issues. What I absolutely hate are nasty, smelly, filthy cabs. Take a sanitary hand wipe and rub the seat. You will be appalled at the color of the wipe! Whatever happened to cabbies wearing uniforms? I've seen cabbies wearing flip-flops and dirty shorts with T-shirt.
      photofill
      • 1 Year Ago
      crown vics are popular because of their size and passenger compartment. Sorry but the prius does not have the same room. Because I'm 6'8" i'd choose a crown vic over the prius if i was looking for a taxi. Because of their lack of space I dont usually go in taxis anyway, and they want to charge more for a vehicle I'll actually fit in, like a minivan. Most small SUVs i dont fit in the back seat either.
        Alpachino81
        • 1 Year Ago
        @photofill
        Photofill, I worked a hybrid livery service that used Prius and RX400h for airport transfers. All though the overall room is smaller, if you compare legroom in a Prius to a Crown Vic, you'll be surprised to see there isn't that much overall different. Hip room yes, much narrower car, but not leg room. I've said it before, I actually like a lot of American cars, but GM, Ford Chrysler have never done a good job with interior space, considering the size of our cars. They are finally catching on, by the recent Malibu rear leg room issue was another reminder of this problem. Sad that a person over 6ft couldn't sit in a 2013 Malibu without cramping up.
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