New York Taxi and Limousine Commission Allows Hybrid Alternatives to Nissan NV200
Exemption Allows for Non-Nissan "Taxis of Tomorrow"
Once thought to have a virtual lock on New York City's future taxi fleet, the Nissan NV200 has been challenged from many corners, within the city's regulatory and legal departments as well as environmental and disability advocates.
In an attempt to reconcile two disparate policies the city is pursuing with its taxi fleet, the Taxi and Limousine Commission is allowing vehicles other than the Nissan NV200 to be used for taxi service, following an earlier directive that a hybrid alternative needed to be made available to operators. The NV200 is not currently offered with a hybrid option, although, unofficially, Nissan has hinted that a hybrid version may be coming for the 2015 model year as a gesture of compliance with the NYC rule, and preventing further erosion of their virtual monopoly of the city's sizeable taxi fleet.
Disability advocates, as well as city comptroller John Liu have also challenged Nissan's lock on the market, and have pushed for making 100 percent of the city's taxi fleet wheelchair-accessible. Nissan offers a version of the NV200 that is wheelchair accessible , but it differs slightly from the non-wheelchair accessible version, with a manual rear-access ramp, and wheel anchors and clamps. Mandating that equipment on the estimated 13,000 taxis in the city would raise the purchase cost of the vehicles for operators.
Source: New York Daily News