Las Vegas Sun. Lucky Cab Company in Las Vegas, Nevada, is testing four Prius hybrids as part of its fleet of 120 cars. The move puts Las Vegas in a small group of cities that have rolled out hybrid taxicabs, including San Francisco, New York and San Antonio.
A Chicago taxicab operator is expected to introduce hybrids in the coming weeks, according to Todd Sigaty, executive director of the New York-based Coalition for Smart Transportation.
As a taxicab, the Prius is delivering 35 to 40 mpg—below its advertised rate, but far better than anything else in the cab fleet.
Over the course of a year—and about 100,000 miles—a Prius would save $15,775 in gasoline costs compared with a Marquis and nearly $7,884 versus a Camry, based on the $2.88 a gallon Lucky was paying in September for fuel.
However, gasoline wasn't the only motivation for testing the hybrid vehicles, which use an electric motor as a backup to a traditional gasoline-powered engine, [Awad] said.
“If the price of gas was the only factor, I would say now that we don’t need them,” he explained, citing current gasoline prices that have dropped to about $2.10 a gallon.
With 1,675 cabs in the Las Vegas Valley, cutting gasoline usage and emissions could go a long way in improving the local environment, Awad said.
“I’ve been living here for 35 years,” he said. “I’ve seen the growth. I’ve seen the congestion. I hope my children want to live here too, and I want to do my part.”