Click on the image above for a gallery of MetroKing's new taxi

The City of New York would like to improve the fuel mileage of its fleet of taxis, but the issue is proving more difficult than planned to implement. After the city announced plans to place fuel economy requirements on all taxis operating within its jurisdiction, a minor riot erupted among the drivers and at least one union sued to stop the law from taking place. Later, federal judge Paul Crotty ruled that the city must put the plan on hold.

A new company called MetroKing has popped up with a potential resolution to the problem. Using a Chevy Colorado Chassis Cab as its foundation, the new wheelchair-accessible taxicab features a removable passenger compartment where the pickup bed would otherwise sit. MetroKing has been testing mild hybrid systems in the vehicle that would keep the engine from idling when the taxi isn't moving. Early testing shows the potential for a 20 percent improvement in fuel mileage, which could possibly already be improved over the current fleet that's made up mostly of V8-powered Ford Crown Victorias.

[Source: New York State Energy Research and Development Authority]

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