Nissan Unleashes LEAF EV Taxis In NYC

If there’s a city that puts vehicles to the ultimate test, it’s New York. The clogged arteries of New York City’s five boroughs are an almost iconic image, representing an unfortunate fact of urban life around the world. Now, Nissan and the Big Apple have teamed up to test a new electric vehicle pilot program that will make NYC’s yellow cabs famous yet again.

The partnership will put six Nissan LEAF taxis into service beginning this spring. The results of the program will help Nissan, the city, the taxi industry and the public better understand how zero emission vehicles can be integrated into future taxi fleets.

Nissan LEAF taxi NYC

Image via Nissan

There are around 13,000 traditional taxi cabs in New York City, and about as many for-hire sedans and limos. That’s a lot of cars cruising around in a fairly small area, and we’re not even counting those brave enough to own and drive their own cars. In use 24 hours a day, these vehicles produce a lot of carbon emissions, something that NYC wants to change.

“Even though the Taxi of Tomorrow won’t be on the road for another six months, we’re already looking ahead to the taxi of the day after tomorrow,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg during the pilot’s Earth Day launch.” Nissan’s proven track record with electric vehicles will put us ahead of the curve in helping us answer important questions about incorporating electric taxis into the fleet so that we can achieve the goal of a one-third electric taxi fleet by 2020.”

As part of the pilot, Nissan and partners in New York City will also install several CHAdeMO-based DC quick chargers, which will enable drivers to re-charge their electric taxis quickly during their shift. With quick charging, Nissan LEAF can be recharged to about 80 percent in under 30 minutes.

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog