UniCab Is An Interesting Big Green Taxi Concept for NYC

The New York Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) has been on the search for a zero-emission vehicle that could replace the taxis of New York City, leading to some interesting concept designs. Here’s one that caught our eye, via Ecofriend: the all-electric UniCab.

The UniCab pulls power from diverse sources, including solar panels on the roof, regenerative braking, hydrogen fuel cells and a speedy plug-in charge, utilizing advanced capacitor energy distribution. It features seating for six, an automated ramp for those with disabilities (similar, presumably, to those already in use on city buses) and an infotainment center that displays not only your route, but attractions along with way.


image via Ecofriend

The TLC was looking for vehicles that 1) Meet high safety standards, 2) Offer superior passenger experience, 3) Offer superior driver comfort and amenities, 4) Offer appropriate purchase price and ongoing maintenance and repair costs, 5) Have a small environmental footprint (lower emissions and improved fuel economy), 6) Have a smaller physical footprint (with more usable interior room), 7) Are in compliance with appropriate Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, 8) and Create an iconic design that will identify the new taxi with New York City.

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.

1 Comment

  • Reply June 28, 2010

    AA Taxi St Louis

    I wonder how much this Unicab is going to cost.

    I think this Unicab is going to be good only for cities like NYC, Chicago, LA, etc. I don’t think it will ever be used in cities with smaller or extremely tough markets.

    The question is how much is the maintenance is going to cost to the operator and how long will it take to make your money back.

    This new cab concept is pretty cool, but that is it – just cool pics. But to get it used everywhere would require to make it cheap and make the maintenance cheap too.

    Taxi business is a miserable hustle. Most cities have too many cabs. The reason why Crown Vics are used in most cases is that you can buy them cheap and the maintenance is cheap. And, it has the power, a huge trunk, and an ability to carry 6 passengers.

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