NYC's Yellow Cabs to go Hybrid by 2012

By 2012, New York City Mayor Bloomberg hopes to improve the environment by only allowing a gas mileage of 25 miles per gallon for the city's whole taxi fleet. Currently, roughly 90% of the city's 13,000 yellow cabs are Crown Victorias that get around 10 to 15 miles per gallon for city driving. On the other hand, there are currently only 375 fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles cruising city streets. That number will increase to 1,000 by October of 2008, and it will grow by about 20% each year until 2012 when every yellow cab will be a hybrid. Yahoo Incorporated said it would donate 10 hybrid Ford Escape taxis, which get 36 miles per gallon. "There's an awful lot of taxicabs on the streets of New York City obviously, so it makes a real big difference. These cars just sit there in traffic sometimes, belching fumes; this does a lot less. It's a lot better for all of us," said Bloomberg.

Hybrid vehicles run on a combination of gasoline and electricity. They emit less exhaust and achieve higher gas mileage per gallon. The hybrids that have been successfully tested in the city's taxi fleet over the past 18 months include the Toyota Prius, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid, the Lexus RX 400h and the Ford Escape. City officials said the new standards, when fully implemented, are expected to reduce carbon emissions by more than 200,000 tons per year. Hybrid vehicles are typically more expensive, but the city said the increase in fuel efficiency would save taxi operators more than $10,000 per year.

News source: cbs4denver

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