New York City Taxi and Limo Commissions selects Nissan NV200 as “Taxi of Tomorrow”; fully-electric version possible starting in 2017
|Nissan NV200 NYC Taxi. Click to enlarge.|
The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) has selected the Nissan NV200 as the exclusive taxi of New York City for a decade, beginning in late 2013. The award comes after a selection process that lasted more than two years. The other two finalists included Ford Motor Co. and Karsan, a Turkish vehicle manufacturer. The City now will enter into final negotiations with Nissan to make the NV200 the first taxicab specially built for use in New York City.
Fuel efficiency was not used as a specific criterion for evaluation; estimated 2014 MY EPA combined label fuel economy is 25 mpg US (9.4 L/100 km). However, Nissan will be able to manufacture the NV200 to run on electric-only power starting in 2017. The City will test the use of all-electric powered taxis starting in 2012 with six fully electric Nissan LEAFs—provided free of charge—to road test electric vehicles. If the pilot proves successful, the City will explore the possibility of the wider use of electric-powered taxis.
As part of the regular phase out of taxis, the current fleet on the road will be retired out of service within three to five years, depending on whether they are in-use part or full-time, and replaced by the Nissan NV200.
Planned features, which respond to direct input from drivers, owners and passengers, include:
- EPA Tier 2 Bin 5 2.0L 4-cylinder engine with 135 hp (101 kW) power and 197 N·m (145 lb-ft) torque;
- Passenger knee room estimated at 4-plus inches more than the Crown Vic Extended models;
- A low-annoyance horn with exterior lights that indicate when the vehicle is honking, helping reduce noise pollution;
- Sliding doors with entry step and grab handles, providing easy entry and exit;
- Transparent roof panel (with shade) that will provide views of the city;
- Independently controlled rear air conditioning with a grape phenol-coated air filter to improve cabin air quality;
- Breathable, antimicrobial, environmentally friendly and easy-to-clean seat fabric that simulates the look and feel of leather;
- Overhead reading lights for passengers and floor lighting to help locate belongings;
- A mobile charging station for passengers that includes a 12V electrical outlet and two USB plugs;
- A six-way adjustable driver’s seat that features both recline and lumbar adjustments, even with a partition installed; and
- Standard driver’s navigation and telematics systems.
Key safety features include:
- Front and rear-seat occupant curtain airbags, as well as seat-mounted airbags for the front row;
- Standard traction control and Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC);
- Sliding doors to reduce the risk of pedestrians, cyclists and other motorists getting struck by doors opening unexpectedly;
- Lights that alert other road users that taxi doors are opening.
Nissan will train taxi fleet operators to conduct routine in-house service and repairs, and Nissan Commercial Vehicle dealers will provide prompt service by providing the first available service bay to taxi operators needing service.
Taxi of Tomorrow. In 2007, New York City officials convened a group of stakeholders, including representatives of taxi drivers, owner and passengers, to create a set of goals for the next New York City taxi cab, a project called the Taxi of Tomorrow. In December 2009, the TLC issued a request for proposals, inviting auto manufacturers and designers to submit their best ideas for a purpose-built vehicle to serve as a New York City taxicab.
The goal of the unique, two-year-long Taxi of Tomorrow procurement process was to leverage the buying power of the combined taxicab industry to produce a superior taxicab that will offer both passengers and drivers alike a safe, comfortable ride with new amenities.
The evaluation process focused on two major categories: 1) the qualifications and ability of the proposer to deliver on the various aspects of the agreement and 2) how the proposed vehicle interacts with its passengers and operators.
In the first category, evaluators considered the organizational capability of the proposer and relevant experience of the proposer. In the second category, evaluators reviewed such areas as the proposed vehicles’ safety, ergonomics, average cost to the taxi industry to purchase and total lifecycle costs to operate the vehicle as a taxi, internal air/environmental quality (HVAC), overall ride quality (noise or vibration), the vehicle durability, the design elements, and warranty and service provision, as well as proposers’ plans for stakeholder outreach to help provide input on the final design.
Never before in the 100-plus year history of the taxi industry has its combined strength been used to drive the design and creation of a purpose-built vehicle, tuned to the streets it will be driving on. For the first time, we’ll have a taxicab that wasn’t “off the rack”, but rather custom-tailored to create the best fit for the drivers, owners and passengers of our city. This is the heir apparent to the Checker, and people are going to fall in love with this taxi once they ride in it. It is going to represent New York City well.—Taxi Commissioner David Yassky
New York City has the highest quality taxi service in the world, but operating taxicabs 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in this great city also comes with great challenges—like finding the right vehicles that meet the highest levels of comfort, safety and durability as well as being fuel efficient and affordable. We are therefore encouraged by the City’s assurance that its Taxi of Tomorrow selection—the Nissan NV200—will be a commercial-grade, purpose-built taxicab that will meet MTBOT’s high standards. If that indeed becomes the case, we will have made great progress in further improving taxi service for all New Yorkers. We are also pleased that the TLC has agreed to permit taxi owners to place interim vehicles like the Ford Transit Connect taxicab into service as early as next month which helps our operators continue running purpose-built taxicabs.—Ron Sherman, President of the Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade
The Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade comprises 33 taxi fleets and more than 3,500 yellow medallion taxicabs.
The Nissan NV200 taxi will be produced in North America at Nissan’s facility in Cuernavaca, Mexico. The Nissan NV200 taxi will be a modified version of the compact commercial vehicle currently available in global markets including Japan, Europe and China. Total manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) of the vehicle, with all planned standard features, will be around $29,000.