Pilot program could bring more electric yellow taxis to New York City

The Tesla Model 3 is the only battery electric vehicle (BEV) approved to operate by the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC). That could soon change as the commission is proposing a one year pilot project to expand the number of battery-electric models authorized for use.

This would be the second pilot project contemplating using EVs as yellow taxis in New York. In 2013 the commission conducted a similar program using four Nissan Leaf EVs. Due to limited range of those vehicles in 2013, the program found range anxiety to be a considerable obstacle in approving BEVs for use.

With the increased range available in modern EVs, and the expansion of charging infrastructure in the city, the commission believes another pilot program should be launched.

According to the proposal posted to the TLC website, current taxi owners and agents have expressed a desire to have more EVs be eligible to become a yellow taxi. The proposal says the numerous benefits of BEVs align with the city’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“The use of BEVs offers the benefits of reduced fuel costs and reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Reduction of Greenhouse Gases is a major goal for New York City, and the City, the TLC, and medallion owners alike share an interest in making more of the taxi fleet electric.” 

The commission will vote on the proposal at their board meeting later today.

The first all-electric yellow taxi, a Tesla Model 3, hit the streets of New York City last fall. Despite it being involved in an accident just a few months later, the number of Tesla yellow taxis in The Big Apple has continued to grow.

Yellow taxis aren’t the only option for New Yorkers to get a ride in a Tesla. Revel recently launched a ride-hailing program in New York City with a fleet of 50 Tesla Model Y’s.

Image via Revel

h/t: CBS New York

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