• Chris O avatar Chris O Posted: 4/24/2013 10:41am PDT

    Leaf, an unattractive looking compact hatchback, NV 200 a third world style minivan...hmm, neither vehicle really feels like a step up from the legendary Crown Vic do they?

    How about Model X for New York Cab? Lots of charisma, lots of interior space, easy access through the falcon doors. The sort of cab people actually like to get into I imagine powered by large batteries that could keep it going all day, every day for many many years.

    Downside: the aluminum body is expensive to fix, so it would require cabbies that can actually drive.

  • john_v avatar John Posted: 4/24/2013 3:47pm PDT

    @Chris: I kinda love the idea of a Tesla taxi, but that ain't gonna happen any time soon. :)

    And, frankly, as a NYC resident, I've sat in both a Leaf and the "Taxi of Tomorrow"--and either of them is VASTLY preferable to the low seating position and horrendous ride of a Crown Vic (especially once the shocks go on the live axle).

    Some people may differ, but the Crown Vic (in addition to being a terrible fuel hog) was not that comfortable a cab.

    Finally, the Taxis of Tomorrow will, at last, have sliding doors--meaning fewer cyclists get "doored" by careless cab riders. Can you tell I'm a fan?

  • fb_1559222512 avatar Xiaolong Posted: 4/24/2013 6:24pm PDT

    "have sliding doors--meaning fewer cyclists get "doored" by careless cab riders"

    seriously? hahah. So, the careless passenger will get "run over" by the careless cyclists instead... j/k.

  • john_v avatar John Posted: 4/25/2013 4:22am PDT

    @Xialong: Yes, seriously. Talk to any NYC cyclists and they'll you getting "doored" is an everpresent hazard.

    As for the passengers, they have to look for oncoming traffic before they climb out, so that should eliminate cyclist risk--in Crown Vics, they would throw open the door BEFORE looking.

  • fb_799475006 avatar Pat Posted: 4/26/2013 1:50pm PDT

    you hope the passengers look for oncoming traffic.

  • Chris O avatar Chris O Posted: 4/25/2013 11:21am PDT

    Crown Victoria certainly was gas hog and some back of a napkin math indicates that Model X could easily compete in cost with it despite its triple price tag.

    Falcon doors should be cyclist friendly.

    The number you provided about mileage of a New York cab is an indication that Model X could have lower long time running cost as the Leaf because with high daily mileage the Leaf will show the same failure in New York as it did in Japan: the small battery can't cope with endless recharging.

    ..and I'm not a fan of the idea of a third world style minicab being the taxi of tomorrow. This cluttering the streets of New York doesn't really help spreading the "our best days are still in front of us" feeling.

  • fb_599454693 avatar Jan Posted: 4/24/2013 6:45am PDT

    I also wonder how much the battery will degrade with multiple daily L3 charges after 1 year. It'd be very interesting to see beyond that too but it's not going to happen.

  • fb_742416538 avatar James Posted: 4/24/2013 7:20am PDT

    If you make sure that temperature doesn't build up in the battery, then I wouldn't expect any quicker degradation than normal (for those number of miles). However if the vehicles are quick charged and then driven, quick charged, driven, etc... on hot summers days then they won't last long at all. Arizona should have taught Nissan that!

    The trick is to make sure that the battery never gets to hot, this prematurely ages lithium batteries quicker than anything.

  • fb_742416538 avatar James Posted: 4/24/2013 7:31am PDT

    Just for example, I drove 310 miles in a single day in my LEAF, but the battery temp gauge never got above 6 bars, despite quick charging 4 times in succession and I've not noticed any drop in range since. Actually I've not noticed any drop in range over the last 20,000 miles either!

    I suppose there has to be some advantage to living in a relatively cold climate! :)

  • fb_799475006 avatar Pat Posted: 4/26/2013 1:48pm PDT

    I would suspect they may have to do battery replacements every 18 months.

  • fb_1134791105 avatar Mittar Posted: 4/24/2013 6:50am PDT

    Sounds like a terrible idea, there's no way that the range of a leaf is appropriate for a Taxi. A Model S perhaps?

  • fb_1502179616 avatar William Posted: 4/24/2013 9:37am PDT

    I would wager that the typical distance driven by a NYC taxi isn't that far at all, and at relatively low speeds. Longer distance fares could be routed to other vehicles.

  • rjolly avatar rjolly Posted: 4/24/2013 10:16am PDT

    This was tried and failed in Osaka. Why would NYC be different?

    "When the cars were new, you could drive about 100 kilometers (about 62 miles) on a full charge; but after two years of use, their maximum range is down to about one half of that."

    "Some drivers even shun the heater and offer passengers chemical pocket warmers and blankets."


  • fb_1559222512 avatar Xiaolong Posted: 4/24/2013 11:23am PDT

    City driving is perfect for a car like the Leaf. It should be easily getting 80-100 miles range in slow speed NYC traffic.

    However, I wonder how the winter affects the car and its climate control. I would assume that Taxi drivers would use the Heat all the time during the winter month. That amount of usage would significantly reduce the range...

  • scullies avatar scullies Posted: 4/25/2013 7:32am PDT

    Did you know New York city has a target of one-third electric taxi fleet by 2020? And Tesla, in addition to making the best American car in generations, will make money in the first quarter. I am feeling optimistic this morning about electric cars, which I consider to be an imporant part of our sustainable future.

  • fb_799475006 avatar Pat Posted: 4/26/2013 1:52pm PDT

    it would probably be better to start with Chevy Volts or Cmax-ENERGI or
    a plug in Camry.

    People want a lot of room in the back seat of a taxi, the cabbies don't want to spend more then half an hour charging and the car should be economical to operate.

    The Prius has worked well as a cab, so perhaps plug ins can do well.

  • fb_1001015277 avatar John Posted: 4/24/2013 5:36am PDT

    I wonder how many miles a day a typical taxi goes in NYC.

  • Chris O avatar Chris O Posted: 4/24/2013 10:23am PDT

    According to ABG "Taxis average 70-100 miles a day in NYC". If that's true only one fast charge per day (and plug-in at night, assuming not round the clock duty))should suffice, especially in urban traffic.

  • john_v avatar John Posted: 4/24/2013 3:34pm PDT

    "According to the PBS program "Taxi Dreams," the average number of miles driven by a taxi driver in New York City in a 12-hour shift is 180. If you do the simple math, a cab running five days a week would rack up 46,800 miles in 52 weeks.

    "Because some cabs are used for double shifts, meaning that two drivers share the same vehicle in two 12-hour shifts, an average cab being used to pull double shifts could rack up 93,600 miles in a year or more."

    From ... How Many Miles Does an Average Taxi Cab Driver Drive Yearly?


  • MrEnergyCzar avatar MrEnergyCzar Posted: 4/28/2013 9:00pm PDT

    Wireless charging at the taxi waiting areas would help charge while the Leaf stands...