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Mayor Bloomberg Touts First Electric Taxi For 'Cleaner City'

By Trevor Kapp | April 22, 2013 12:59pm

MIDTOWN — Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the city's Taxi and Limousine Commission launched the Taxi of Tomorrow, an electric car officials expect to one day reduce carbon emissions and make for a cleaner city.

Six new silver-and-yellow Nissan LEAF electric cabs will hit the road immediately, TLC Commissioner David Yassky said, while the rest are expected to be available in October. The new taxis could reduce carbon emissions by nearly 90,000 tons annually and will be the model for the TLC’s plan of having a one-third electric fleet by 2020, according to the TLC.

“If you get a chance, ride one,” Bloomberg said after hopping out of the backseat of the cab.

“I could actually read,” he added. “It was smooth and quiet. It was nice.”

The vehicles will be charged at drivers’ homes or at fleet garages across the city using standard chargers, with batteries going from empty to 80 percent in about 30 minutes, according to the TLC.

“Our next steps on the road to a more environmentally responsible and fuel-efficient future for the taxi industry are crucial ones,” Yassky said in a statement.

“These all-electric LEAF taxicabs will help us determine the best way to seamlessly integrate electric vehicles into the taxi industry’s 24/7 business and operational models.”