If it weren't for the somewhat obsessive and frankly narrow-minded love by taxi drivers and police officers for the body-on-frame Ford Crown Victoria, we'd imagine the old Panther platform would have been put out to pasture a very long time ago. As it stands, though, New York cabbies especially seem hell-bent on keeping it around on life support as long as possible.
Joining other, existing initiatives to move the U.S. taxi fleet across to hybrid vehicles, the Cleantech Venture Network has launched the Cleantech Innovation Institute (CII), which will work to reduce or remove existing barriers to the change-over. Already, a number of major U.S. cities have started to move their taxis over to hybrids with San Francisco being the first in early 2005. New York and Chicago have also announced incentives, including discounted licenses, for taxi owners to move to h