New York City’s fleet of yellow cabs will go entirely hybrid within five years, and all its vehicles for hire will have to meet new emissions and mileage standards by next year, according to Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The city said the increase in fuel efficiency will save taxi operators more than $10,000 per year. The hybrids that have been successfully tested in the city’s taxi fleet over the past 18 months include the Toyota Prius, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid, the Lexus RX 400h and the Ford Escape. The standard yellow cab vehicle is the Ford Crown Victoria, which gets 14 miles per gallon.
Today, there are just 375 fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles among the 13,000 taxis rolling on city streets. That number will increase to 1,000 by October 2008 and will grow by about 20 percent each year until 2012, when every yellow cab will be a hybrid.