NYC’s Taxis go Hybrid: Yellow Can be Green

NYC’s Mayor Bloomberg announced a plan to have the entire NYC fleet of taxicabs change to hybrids within five years. With 13,000 cabs, this is a tall order.

There are about 400 hybrid taxis currently in use now, and they’ve had good reviews from riders and drivers. Taxi models include the Toyota Prius, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid, the Lexus RX 400h, and the Ford Escape. Expect the number to double next year, and increase until the whole fleet is hybrid in 2012.

The fuel savings will be enormous. The current standard taxicab, a Ford Crown Victoria (at right), averages 14 miles to the gallon (mpg), while a hybrid Ford Escape can average 36 mpg. This can translate into savings of $10,000 in gasoline! And that’s not to mention the reduced carbon emissions footprint.

This is all part of Bloomberg’s greening efforts, which might include congestion charges as well. And this is coming from the city that already is one of the greenest in America.