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    Rybold globally warmed member

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    DailyTech - NYC to Receive 6 Nissan Leaf Taxis in 2012

    ...
    Related thread: http://priuschat.com/forums/other-cars/93510-official-nissan-wins-bid-next-new-york-city-taxi.html
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    cwerdna Senior Member

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    Thanks. I knew about them being used for the test program but at least there are more details.

    As usual, there are a bunch of misinformed people posting in the comments... I posted a few replies but suspect it'll be overrun by tomorrow afternoon (no time to reply to them all, by then).
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    AussieOwner Active Member

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    Sounds like a nice experiment, but cannot see them as being popular with the paying public with the limited rear seat leg room. According to the comments, the rear seat is some 7 inch difference in the leg room, which is a significant difference and certainly limits the fit for most adults.

    I fully expect that eventually, most city taxis will be ev, but this experiment may be a little too early in the ev develop cycle.
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    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    I like the idea but the vehicle size and range are just too restrictive. I waited until the 3rd generation hybrid before taking the plunge, so will probably do the same for an EV.

    I notice that the Nissan NV200 will have an electric option and this will be offered as a taxi in New York also. The one issue with this is that it has exactly the same range as the Leaf. No good. The larger size of the van body should allow more room for batteries and a 150 range (100 cold weather) would be an absolute minimum as a cab. Well, that AND a fantastic fast charge network.
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    Rybold globally warmed member

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    Grumpy Cabbie,
    Maybe you can give me some insight on something. I have a perception that taxi drivers spend a good amount of time parked, waiting for customers (time that could allow the vehicle to be plugged in at special taxi pick up zones). Would you agree that taxis spend a good amount of time parked, waiting for customers?

    Perhaps a moving charging cable system could be installed for a 200 foot length to allow staged taxis, in a line, to move forward while still remaining plugged in.
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    cwerdna Senior Member

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    Unfortunately, AFAIK, the Leaf either won't let you power up or shift out of park while plugged in. (Hopefully a Leaf owner can chime in on everything that gets locked out while plugged in.)
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    spinkao New Member

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    I've seen couple of Leaf cabs in Tokyo this summer. They even had a charging station just across the street from my hotel. It would be interesting to ask for their opinions and experience.

    Would any of our Japanese friends volunteer to run a small query campaign among the Tokyo Leaf taxi drivers :)?
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    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    Yes they do spend a good amount of time parked up on a rank (at least here in the UK at the moment :( ). As others have said, the car is inoperative when plugged in but maybe a wireless charger has merit as at least it avoids the continual getting in and out to plug the car in. In the UK the rank slowly moves forward as cars pick up jobs - the lead car getting them.

    Perhaps a good number of fast chargers in strategic places would be a better move? Stop for your sandwich and charge up at the same time, or a rank of fast chargers at the airport etc. I think it's almost there as an idea but times are hard and you don't want to get caught out with new technology. You'd end up with egg on your face if you went to the next city with just enough charge to get there only to find the only fast charger there was down.
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    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    you can power up but cannot shift. they would have to work out a different staging option. as far as backseat room, its not bad but could not carry more than 2 people or 3 if front seat is used, but not sure you could haul luggage for 3 people (the Prius can barely do it and it has a much better storage layout than the Leaf does)
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    Rebound Senior Member

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    That's why Nissan and NYC are collaborating to test the Leaf. It will give Nissan useful data that can make its way into Gen II or III.

    Six cabs in NYC is nothing. Let's see how it works for them.
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    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    new reports state Nissan has an EXCLUSIVE 10 year contract to replace NYC taxi fleet but the primary vehicle to replace will be a new 7 passenger Van that will be on demo soon. initial supply will be gas engines with conversion to electric to start about 2017
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    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    I've spotted the van while passing dealer lots. They might have larger models for the comercial market(Sprinter and Econoline competitor).
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    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    I would absolutely choose to take an electric taxicab over a gas taxi if I had the choice. However, if I was a taxi operator I'd be very reluctant to invest in a car with an 85-mile ideal range, less in hot or cold weather. Even with fast charging, it takes half an hour to get an 80% charge. There'd have to be enormous incentives to justify the expenditure. Having one charging while another runs has two big disadvantages: You have to buy twice as many cars, and each car has to return to the charging station, rather than being able to go to the nearest taxi stand to wait for a fare after dropping off the previous fare.

    Now, a 300-mile Model S is a whole different kettle of fish.

    As a sometimes taxi rider (when I'm out of town, other than my summer road trips up to Canada) I take taxis rather than renting a car. But when there's a line of taxis, I don't get to choose which car I want to ride in. I have to take the first car. This often results in having to ride, alone, in a 7-passenger monstrosity of a van, even though there was a sedan in the line, and I'd have preferred to take the smaller, more fuel-efficient car. So if there was a Leaf, I would not be able to take it unless it happened to be first in line when I got there.
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    RobH Senior Member

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    Huh? I heard the same story when I caught a taxi in NYC. But there was this guy from Detroit in my group, and he wasn't about to take orders from taxi drivers. Particularly taxi drivers with no medallion on the hood, and his ID papers not visible on the dash. We ended up in that cab after our Detroit guy negotiated the price, got the ID properly displayed, and some story about why the medallion was missing. Another group in our party took the next cab, and ended up paying double what we paid. Same route, same time of day, same metering equipment (!!).

    I suggest picking the cab you want, and telling anyone who objects to go f*** themselves. My impression from watching our Detroit guy is that all of the NYC taxi drivers are doing something illegal, and all you have to do to get your way is to aggressively point it out. It was a real education for a naive guy from the suburbs of northern California.
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    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    They won't be going to Long Island for sure with that range.
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    ItsNotAboutTheMoney EditProfOptInfoCustomUser Title

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    http://www.nyc.gov/html/tlc/downloads/pdf/more_about_leaf_pilot.pdf
    http://www.nyc.gov/html/tlc/downloads/pdf/industry_notice_11_26.pdf

    They'll have no lease, charger installation or maintenance costs and they'll trade range-related issues but lower fuel costs for variable and higher gasoline costs.

    When gasoline consumption takes a hit or prices rise the cab driver will need to drive more to make up for the increased expenses. With less variable electricity prices and lower cost per mile, the LEAF driver may actually have less of a financial penalty, especially if they have fares that would take them close to their fleet depots during the middle of the day and allow them to swap cars quickly.

    Anyway, they begin Spring 2012 and it'll be interesting to follow the progress for the 3 drivers involved.

    That's only at a taxi stand. You'd be able to hail one (of the 3!) on the street.
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    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    You can always negotiate price. But when I've tried to take the second cab in the line because it was a smaller vehicle, the driver would not take me because it was not his turn. I could have waited for someone else to come along and take the first cab, but I didn't feel like it.

    So the driver is cruising, or at a taxi stand, and has to refuse fares because they're not going to some place that has a charger, or they're not going to the fleet depot??? Not good.

    Lots of places you can't find a taxi on the street.

    Listen, I'm all for EVs! I'm just skeptical of the usefulness of an 85-mile EV as a taxi.
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    ItsNotAboutTheMoney EditProfOptInfoCustomUser Title

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    Well, NYC cab drivers are not allowed to refuse a fare to any of the 5 boroughs. (However, many of them do because they're unlikely to get a fare back. People complain but nothing happens.)

    So, there's a limited radius they can drive, but I don't know how they'll handle the issue of low range. I know they're going to put chargers at key locations such as the airports. But, even if the pilot drivers are OK, with the volume of traffic it's not something that would scale.

    I'm skeptical too and I think that an electric cab needs more range.

    But, it's obvious why NYC would love to go electric. There are 13,000 cabs, with an average of 180 miles per 12 hour shift. Even if the cabs were only driven for one shift per day, that's 855 million miles per year. The limited-speed start-stop driving should suit electric cars much better than ICEVs.

    They wouldn't serious consider the LEAF as the typical New York taxi, because of utility and scale, but it's available to test and until they've actually tested EVs on the streets they won't have figures for maintenance, "fuel" economy and charging patterns. The law prevents them from forcing operators to use particular vehicles, but they can certainly make sure that they're ready to use electric as soon as electric is viable.
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    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    Me too. I really really like the idea of an EV cab. The Model S with 300 miles would be a dream. Even the cheaper versions with 160 or 220 would be usable but 85 miles in a Leaf just isn't - unfortunately.

    And 85 miles is on the good side too. Winter or a hot summer it's more like 50. I for one don't fancy range anxiety every single day of my working life. It would also be a real pita if you got hailed, esp a good job just when you had 12 miles remaining; "sorry guv, I'm gonna have to go charge her up for an hour!". They'd look at you as if you were mad! :eek:

    Not quite the same as filling her up when your range hits 50 miles as I do at the moment and that's caught me out once or twice too. But your customer doesn't mind you stopping for petrol on the way to the airport as it only takes a couple of mins.
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    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    So, what does the Leaf taxi driver do when he's got 15 miles remaining and the fare wants to go somewhere that's going to be 20 miles to take him and then reach a charger?

    And those fast chargers are hugely expensive so either they spend a fortune installing them all over the city, or the cabbie spends a considerable amount of his time driving back to a charger, which may already be in use.

    Now, an electric trolly car system would really make sense, like they had in L.A. and other places when I was a kid, until GM bought the system and dismantled it so people would have to buy cars!

    Exactly.

    And since you have to have enough range available before you can take a fare, you need a buffer. So if the car's range is 50 miles in bad weather, and you need to have a buffer of, say 15 miles, that means 35 miles of useable range before you need to go back and charge up.

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