New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Taxi and Limousine Chairman/Commissioner Matthew Daus announced an sharp increase in the number of Alternative Fuel Medallions for City taxicabs.
The Medallion sale scheduled for next month will now include 254 alternative fuel and hybrid medallions, up from a previously scheduled 62 of the 308 to be auctioned. The Alternative Fuel Medallion may be applied to TLC-approved vehicles that use either compressed natural gas (CNG) or hybrid fuel technology.
Clean air and fuel efficient cabs are in the best interests of all New Yorkers. Alternative fuel and hybrids taxis are three times more fuel efficient than regular taxis and have close to zero emissions. By encouraging alternative fuel and hybrid taxis, New Yorkers get cleaner air, drivers have lower fuel costs and we all become less reliant on foreign oil.—Mayor Bloomberg
Currently, 10 car models using this technology have been approved for use as taxi cabs by the TLC including the Toyota Prius, Highlander Hybrid and Camry Hybrid, the Honda Civic Hybrid and Accord Hybrid, the Ford Escape Hybrid, the Saturn Vue Hybrid, Lexus RX 400h and the Mercury Mariner Hybrid.
The first hybrid taxis entered service in New York in November 2005—a mini-fleet of six Ford Escape hybrids. (Earlier post.) According to the Taxi Commission, there are 27 hybrid cabs now in service in the city.
More than 3,000 of the City’s light-duty vehicles are hybrids or use alternative fuel.
(A hat-tip to Joe Willemssen!)