Nissan Leaf EVs are coming to New York streets as part of a taxi cab experiment. 6 electric Leaf cars, similar to those at Pence Nissan located at 11841 Midlothian Turnpike, Midlothian, VA 23113, are involved with NYC's 'Taxi of Tomorrow'.
This project, which began as a joint venture between NYC and the Japanese auto maker in 2007, doesn't just include hybrids. Anti-bacterial seats, extra luggage room, and fuel efficiency improvements are being looked into for future models. Nissan's NV200 van was selected as the design for New York's next taxi, expected to go into service by 2013.
One thing has to change - cab driver habits: "Of course operating range will be an issue because the Leaf has a 62-138 mile driving range depending on driving habits. Achieving the 138 mile range would take the cabbie driving at a slower speed than they're typically known for. Charging stations will be installed at fleet garages, owner-drivers homes, and perhaps at the airports," adds one report.1
This leg of the project is only the beginning: NYC's taxi fleet is composed of 13,000 vehicles, only 4500 of them are hybrid. New York has a long way to go before it's mostly green.