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USA: Electric Taxi Cab Fleet Expanding On City Streets

The city rolled out six all-electric Nissan Leaf taxis as part of a pilot program set to last up to a year.

Nissan donated the vehicles, which will be added to New York’s 13,000 medallion cabs.

The city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission wants to see how the Leaf’s charging times fit into a typical 24/7 business day.

The goal is to make one-third of the city’s fleet electric by 2020, as a way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, as well as cutting gas and maintenance costs.

Developers say a single charge can last a whole shift and is cheaper than paying at the pump.

“I’ll just plug in and go for lunch. It’ll always be done. It takes 30 minutes or less for a full charge, and you’re good to go after that,” said taxi driver Uppkar Singh Thind.

Electric Taxi Cab Fleet Expanding On City Streets
Because there are only a handful of available charging stations, drivers in electric cabs can refuse certain inconvenient trips.

Eventually, city officials want charging stations on sidewalks, like bike racks.

“Today there’s enough gas stations, that they can find one to gas up within 15, 20 blocks. We need to have charging stations distributed enough to do that,” said city Taxi and Limousine Commissioner David Yassky.

There were no complaints about the Leaf, except that it lacks the same legroom as the standard taxi cab, the Ford Crown Victoria.
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