NEW YORK CITY — SmartTransporation.org celebrated the leadership of the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) in its unanimous passage of new clean cars rules. The ruling will change the fleet of “black car” companies to vehicles of at least 25 miles per gallon starting Jan. 1, 2009, and 30 miles per gallon starting Jan. 1, 2010.
"These regulations do not select a specific technology in order to achieve these requirements, so future technologies can be incorporated into New York's fleets," said Jack Hidary, chairman of SmartTransportation.org. TLC Commissioner and Chairman Matthew Daus explained, "As did the similar requirements for medallion taxicabs, this regulation — the first of its kind anywhere — will create the cleanest, greenest large city black car fleet in the world."
In 2005, SmartTransportation.org advocated the decision by NYC TLC for hybrid taxi cabs. Today the city has more than 920 hybrid taxis on its streets, and Mayor Bloomberg has mandated that the entire fleet change to high-mileage, low-emissions vehicles by 2012. Mayor Bloomberg stated, "Between yellow taxis and black cars, more than 23,000 TLC regulated cars will be required to be more efficient."
Lincoln Town Cars, the vehicles most often used as black cars, are EPA-rated at 15 miles per gallon in city driving, whereas equivalent hybrid vehicles can achieve twice this mileage and pollute far less. Many drivers report 11 mpg with the Town Cars in real world conditions, whereas the two-wheel drive Escape Hybrid (now being used as a yellow cab in the city) achieves more than 30 miles per gallon in city driving and close to 500 miles per tank of gas. If black car drivers used hybrid vehicles getting similar mileage, they would be able to go an entire shift without taking time to fill up.
SmartTransportation.org is a non-profit organized to increase the awareness and availability of clean technology in the transportation sector across the U.S. Other organizations working with SmartTransportation.org on hybrid vehicles for NYC include NRDC, The League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, American Lung Association of the city of NY, and Set America Free.
Source: SmartTransportation.org Press Release