NYC already has 6 Ford Escape Hybrid cabs on the streets. Now Hybrid Technologies plans to build a battery-powered car, in this case, convert a PT Cruiser to run only on a 320V lithium-ion battery, weighing in at over 600 pounds and has a recharge cycle life of around 1500 charges. The downside for cabbies is that it can only go for a 150 miles befores it needs to be recharged. According to the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, each New York taxi averages nearly 100,000 miles of driving annually.
Now taxi drivers in NYC maybe running close to 200 mile per shift, so in essence this may not be the best idea for cabbies who are trying to earn a decent wage, but the fact remains that atleast these electric only cabs will cut down the levels of tail-pipe emissions to zero. In my opinion I am in favour of hybrid taxis, I have nothing against electric only powered cars, but until researchers do not come up with a car battery that can hold a charge longer, one will need to have back-up power source. Another problem faced by cab companies is that the start up cost of investing in hybrid cars as taxi’s is extremely high and no one can blame them. If a cab company did invest in hybrid taxis, then these guys will bump up the cost for renting them out to the drivers, forcing the drivers to work more shifts so on and so forth, its a vicious cycle folks.