The streets of New York City might be filling up with a lot more Nissans in the next few years. A New York appeals court ruled that the city's mandate to replace old taxis with a fleet entirely made up of the Nissan NV200 Taxi of Tomorrow was legal. The decision overturned a previous ruling that decided The Big Apple couldn't force cabbies to all purchase the same vehicle.
Justice David B. Saxe wrote the court's opinion saying the Taxi of Tomorrow is a "legally appropriate response to the agency's statutory obligation to produce a 21st-century taxicab consistent with the broad interests and perspectives that the agency is charged with protecting," according to Bloomberg. The Greater New York Taxi Association, the plaintiff in the case, could still possibly attempt a second appeal.
Nissan originally won the 10-year contract estimated to be worth about $1 billion in 2011, beating out Ford and a Turkish company. Under the Taxi of Tomorrow plan, all New York cabbies would have to switch to the NV200 within three of five years of the van going into service, and it would replace the 16 vehicles previously authorized as taxis. In 2013, the mandate received multiple challenges though, including an attempted ban by cab drivers because the replacement wasn't a hybrid. In a separate case, state Supreme Court judge Schlomo Hagler decided that there was nothing in the city charter that forced a taxi driver to choose a specific vehicle. This was the case that was just overturned. In the meantime, the automaker has been selling the NV200 to New York cabbies at prices around $29,700.
Nissan North America responded to Autoblog about its reaction to the ruling with a prepared statement that reads:
Nissan is pleased with the Court's decision to uphold the Taxi of Tomorrow program. Given the specific NYC taxi research and development that Nissan conducted-including crash testing with the installed partition-we are confident that the Nissan NV200 taxi provides a solution that is optimal in safety, comfort and convenience for passengers and drivers alike.