California Yellow Cab Orders 25 CNG-Ready Ford Transit Connect Taxis
California Yellow Cab, not be confused with the Chicago-based original, hopes to become the first taxi outfit in Southern California to have half of its fleet running on natural gas. To that end, the Orange Country-based outfit has ordered 25 Ford Transit Connect Taxis, each equipped with an alternative fuel engine prep package.
The package allows vehicle owners to convert the Transit to compressed natural gas (CNG) or propane (LPG, or liquefied petroleum gas) without voiding the warranty. The conversion adds a compressed tank in the rear cargo area, though Ford says that, with 135 cubic feet of cargo space, there's still plenty of room left. California Yellow Cab of Santa Ana already maintains CNG-powered vehicles and is aiming to expand because of the availability of natural gas fueling stations in Orange County.
Ford says the draw to these fuels is the cleaner combustion they provide over gasoline. EPA CNG greenhouse emissions figures that are some 30% to 40% lower than gasoline, while available government tax credits give fleet owners an incentive to adopt. And the domestic infrastructure is another consideration: Ford claims 87% of natural gas used in the U.S. is rendered here.