Las Vegas Joins Ranks of Cities with Hybrid Taxis
30 December 2005
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.”
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