The Crown Victoria has been a staple of big city taxi fleets since the old Checker cabs were retired twenty years ago, and Dearborn obviously wants to keep that revenue stream going. So far the Escape has proved reliable in taxi service with the first batch of eighteen all accumulating over 175,000 miles in the first year and a half of service. The only problem with the Escape is the limited rear seat room. Ford has a hybrid Fusion coming later this year and if they create a hybrid version of the Taurus it could be the ideal replacement for the Crown Vic.
FORD ESCAPE HYBRID TAXIS
- Ford Escape Hybrid was the first hybrid taxi to be put into service in the country. It was introduced in San Francisco in early 2005.
- New York City and Chicago followed and formally approved vehicles like the Escape Hybrid for taxi use; New York City has 288 Escape Hybrids in its fleet, San Francisco has more than 40.
- Over the course of 100,000 miles, an Escape Hybrid taxi will save approximately 1,666 gallons of gas or 32,000 lbs. of carbon emissions compared with a conventional cab.
- Cabs in New York City have accumulated more than 175,000 miles with no major mechanical problems, attesting to the durability and reliability of the Escape Hybrid.
- Escape Hybrid taxi drivers report they may save more than $6,000 on gas per year.
In early 2005, San Francisco was the first city to feature gas-electric hybrid-powered taxi cabs. The city chose Ford Escape Hybrid. Later that year, New York City added a small fleet of Escape Hybrid taxis based on the New York City Council decision to pass the Clean Air Taxis Act. In June 2006, Ford embarked on a nationwide tour promoting the advantages of the use of Escape Hybrids for taxi service, and since, Chicago and Austin have also introduced Escape Hybrids into their taxi fleets.
With hundreds of thousands of miles accumulated over the past two years in New York City, there has been an estimated fuel savings of $250,000 for the initial fleet of 18 Escape Hybrid taxis. Now there are 288 Escape Hybrids in taxi service throughout the city, and drivers are reporting that the hybrids are delivering on the durability requirements and fuel-saving advantages that make them a great choice for taxi use.
- Most fuel-Efficient SUV on Earth: EPA rated at 34 miles per gallon in city driving, the front-wheel drive Escape Hybrid is the most fuel-efficient SUV on earth, and can provide drivers 500 miles to a tank.
- Taxi Drivers Save $30 Per Shift: According to San Francisco cab driver Paul Gillespie, driving an Escape Hybrid saves him up to $30 per shift. Working four shifts a week for a year could equal more than $6,000.
- Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (PZEV) Certified: The Escape Hybrid dramatically reduces smog-forming emissions, as it meets the cleanest emissions standard available for a vehicle that uses fossil fuels – California's AT-PZEV standard. Over 100,000 miles the Escape Hybrid will conserve approximately 1,666 gallons of gas over a traditional cab, effectively preventing 32,000 pounds of carbon emissions.
- Reliability and Durability is Key for Taxi Use: The Escape Hybrid is proving to be remarkably durable, capable of surviving around-the-clock use in one of the most severe driving conditions any vehicle will face. This durability is backed by a standard 8-year / 100,000-mile limited warranty for unique hybrid components, including the battery pack.
- Ford Escape, Mercury Mariner Hybrid Have Highest Tax Credits: Because the real world fuel economy of the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner Hybrids increased for the 2008 model year, the Federal income tax credits available now are $3,000 for FWD models (up $400) and $2,200 on 4WD models (up $250). The Ford and Mercury Hybrids now have the highest tax credit of any hybrid – up to $900 more than the closest competitor. For both vehicles, the new EPA-certified fuel economy for FWD models is 34 mpg city and 30 mpg highway, and 29 mpg city and 27 mpg highway for AWD models.
- Insurance Discounts for Ford Escape, Mercury Mariner Hybrids: Travelers, one of the largest providers of personal insurance products in the United States, offers hybrid drivers in the states of California, New Jersey, Texas, New York, Maryland, Florida, Kentucky, Georgia and Washington discounts of up to 10 percent on certain coverages. The company estimates their hybrid policy business grew by 200 percent in 2006.