Why NYC’s Yellow cabs took so long to go green
For New York City’s fleet of iconic yellow cabs, gas guzzlers are out and gas-electric hybrids are in. The switchover of the city’s 13,000 fleet of taxis is expected to take four years, with new hybrid models replacing older vehicles (a mix of mostly Ford Crown Victoria sedans, along with some SUVs and minivans) as they are retired. Come 2012, when the switch is completed, the city expects to have “the largest, cleanest fleet of taxis on the planet.” The announcement doesn’t specify hybrids, but instead details emission and mileage standards — topping out at 30 mpg — that only hybrids can meet, for now at least. Some 375 hybrids already prowl city streets, as part of a trial program. This green fleet is made up mostly of Ford Escape Hybrids, but also includes Toyota Priuses and Highlander Hybrids plus a handful of Lexus 400h’s, with new hybrids to join the menagerie as they hit the market.
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