The green future of the New York City taxi cab fleet has been in the news off and one since at least last May. That's when Mayor Bloomberg announced that
the entire fleet would become hybridized
by 2012. An
in Automotive News last week updates the story a bit by comparing possible next-generation cabs with the
Ford Crown Victoria
sedan. The Crown Vics have long been the staple cab in the Big Apple but are now considered to be too dirty for city use. AN spoke with NYC taxi commission officials who were in
Detroit for the Auto Show
and shopping for vehicles. As Commission Chairman Matthew Daus told Automotive News: "We're taking this as an opportunity to ask manufacturers to custom-build the utopian cab for us." What doest that cab look like? "Daus said such a cab would be reasonably priced,
, accessible for passengers with disabilities and distinctively styled."
The trouble is that many (95 percent) of the cabbies like the Crown Vics. As CNW Marketing Research analyst Art Spinella told AN, "If
were to stay doing nothing but Crown Vics for taxis and upgrading them to some degree, maybe fitting a more fuel-efficient V-6 instead of a V-8 in it or
it, they could probably hold on to 70 to 75 percent of that market. But I'm not sure that they want to spend the money to do it."
Instead, the taxi officials are looking at the
hybrids (which we've heard plenty about) and the
, which would only work if it were made larger and could hold more luggage, Spinella said.
[Source: Ryan Beene / Automotive News (subs req'd)]