New York is “hailing” a new era of urban mobility, as the city with the nation’s largest taxi fleet has selected Nissan to design and supply the next-generation “Taxi of Tomorrow.”
The announcements were made today, May 3, during a City Hall press briefing that included Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Nissan Americas chairman Carlos Tavares.
The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) selected the Nissan NV200 as the exclusive taxi of New York City beginning in late 2013.[ Also Read: Mitsubishi i Electric Vehicle to be Launched in Hawaii ]
Nissan says the award comes after a rigorous selection process that lasted over two years. The other two finalists included Ford Motor Co. and Karsan, a Turkish vehicle manufacturer.
“Nissan is proud to provide the next generation of taxis for the City of New York,” said Tavares. “The NV200 taxi will give Nissan the opportunity to showcase our dedication to vehicle quality and urban mobility to more than 600,000 passengers every day.”
The Nissan NV200 taxi will be produced in North America at Nissan’s facility in Cuernavaca, Mexico. The taxi will be a modified version of the compact commercial vehicle currently available in global markets including Japan, Europe and China.[ Also Read: Porsche Car Packed with Motorsport Technology ]
Total manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) of the vehicle, with all planned standard features, will be around $29,000.
As part of the program, Nissan also will work with the City and taxi owners on a pilot program to study the use of zero-emission, electric vehicles as taxis.
The company will provide up to six 100-percent electric Nissan LEAFs to taxi owners for testing in 2012 as well as the charging stations to support their use.
At the New York International Auto Show, Nissan LEAF was named 2011 World Car of the Year, edging out the BMW 5-Series and the Audi A8 for the top spot, according to Nissan. (Read: World Car of the Year Award for Nissan LEAF)
“The city’s Taxi of Tomorrow is the Nissan NV 200 – and it’s going to be the safest, most comfortable and most convenient cab the city has ever had,” said Mayor Bloomberg.
In 2007, City officials convened a group of stakeholders, including representatives of taxi drivers, owners and passengers, to create a set of goals for the next New York City taxicab, a project called the Taxi of Tomorrow.
In December 2009, the TLC issued a “request for proposals,” inviting auto manufacturers and designers to submit their best ideas for a purpose-built vehicle to serve as a New York City taxicab.
At the end of the evaluation, the Nissan NV200 was selected, and will be the next New York City taxicab for ten years, beginning in 2013.