Nissan and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg have now officially launched the NYC Nissan Leaf pilot program, setting the 6 Leaf taxis loose on Earth Day.
Of course, the issue with taxis is that they can be in constant use, so quick-charging technology may be needed in some situations (in order to make the most of the cars). Thus, Nissan and “partners in New York City” are installing a number of CHAdeMO-based DC quick chargers that can charge the Leaf about 80% in 30 minutes.
Joe Castelli, vice president of Nissan Commercial Vehicles, said: “As part of our commitment to zero emission vehicles for the mass-market, Nissan is looking for ways to broaden the use of electric cars, including commercial applications like taxis. Following the selection of Nissan NV200 as New York City’s Taxi of Tomorrow, our relationship with the city provides us the ultimate proving ground to conduct this LEAF taxi pilot to help optimize the use of electric vehicle technology for future applications.”
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said: “Even though the Taxi of Tomorrow won’t be on the road for another six months, we’re already looking ahead to the taxi of the day after tomorrow. Nissan’s proven track record with electric vehicles will put us ahead of the curve in helping us answer important questions about incorporating electric taxis into the fleet so that we can achieve the goal of a one-third electric taxi fleet by 2020.”
With this exciting news, AutoblogGreen also added some rather humorous history that I think you’ve got to read:
Apparently, electric vehicles have long tempted drivers to go faster than the law allows. According to a historical tidbit on Today I Found Out, the first-ever speeding ticket handed out in the US was given to a New York City cabbie driving a battery-electric car, all the way back in 1999.
Of course, life was a little slower then, so the illegal speed was just 12 miles an hour. This is how fast the Electric Vehicle Co.’s Jacob German was hauling down Lexington Avenue in his cab on May 20, 1899 – four mph above the legal speed limit. Not only was he stopped by a cop, he was also apparently thrown in jail for his offense. [Note: 1999 should be 1899]