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Las Vegas Joins Ranks of Cities with Hybrid Taxis

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.”



It would be interesting to take a look at the economics of a plug-in hybrid taxi using some of those new fast-charging Li-ion cells.  The capital cost might pay off very nicely in taxi service.


E-Poet -- Yes, I agree. If a taxi can recharge in less than ten minutes then it would be about the same amount of time it takes to fill-up a gas tank.


It wouldn't take ten minutes to do something useful with the new cells; if you could charge at 220 volts and 100 amps, the car could take on the energy for several miles of driving in 2-3 minutes.

Plugging in while at a taxi stand would also allow the A/C to run without burning any fuel.  That might be the biggest selling point in Las Vegas.

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