Nissan Leaf Taxis Tested in Big Apple


  • Nissan Leaf Taxi Picture

    Nissan Leaf Taxi Picture

    A fleet of Nissan Leaf taxis is being tested in New York City. | April 23, 2013

2 Photos

Just the Facts:
  • New York City is introducing a fleet of Nissan Leaf taxis as a pilot program, as it aims for a goal of a one-third electric taxi fleet by 2020.
  • City officials said they will be watching to see if taxi drivers have the time to plug in the electric Leafs during their shifts.
  • "Even though the Taxi of Tomorrow won't be on the road for another six months, we're already looking ahead to the taxi of the day after tomorrow," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a statement.

NEW YORK — New York City is introducing a fleet of Nissan Leaf taxis as a pilot program, as it aims for a goal of a one-third electric taxi fleet by 2020.

City officials said they will be watching to see if taxi drivers have the time to plug in the electric Leafs during their shifts.

"Even though the Taxi of Tomorrow won't be on the road for another six months, we're already looking ahead to the taxi of the day after tomorrow," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a statement.

Nissan, which donated the vehicles, said it is interested in "looking for ways to broaden the use of electric cars, including commercial applications like taxis."

The silver and yellow Nissan Leaf taxis will be charged at owners' homes or fleet garages using standard chargers and at several locations with the city's first fast chargers. The Leaf's battery can go from empty to an 80 percent charge in about 30 minutes, but there are some concerns whether a driver can build 60 to 90 minutes of charging time into a shift.

Drivers will be allowed to turn down passengers based on their destination to pacify any fears about range anxiety.

Nissan landed a 10-year contract in 2011 to be the provider of nearly all of New York City's 13,237 taxis. The Nissan NV200, a compact commercial van, will make up the bulk of the fleet.

Edmunds says: If a Nissan Leaf taxi can make it in New York City, it can make it anywhere.

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