New York Appeals Court Gives Taxi of Tomorrow Green Light
On Tuesday, a New York appeals court rules that the city’s decision to replace all of the old taxi cabs with Nissan’s NV200 Taxi of Tomorrow. The ruling overturned a prior decision that determined that the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission didn’t have grounds to force fleet operators to purchase a specific vehicle without any say in the matter.
Justice David B. Saxe said that the Taxi of Tomorrow stands as, according to Bloomberg, a “legally appropriate response to the agency’s statutory obligation to produce a 21st-century taxicab consistent with the broad interests and perspectives that the agency is charged with protecting.”
New York City awarded Nissan a $1 billion, 10-year contract for more than 15,000 NV200 taxi vans back in 2011; and in September 2012, the city announced that yellow cab operators were mandated to make the switch to the $29,700 Taxi of Tomorrow within three to five years, resulting in a lawsuit two months later. The suit alleged that the NY Taxi and Limousine Commission violated code by not allowing cab owners to opt for a hybrid vehicle instead.
When reached for comment, a Nissan North America spokesperson told AutoBlog:
Nissan is pleased with the Court’s decision to uphold the Taxi of Tomorrow program. Given the specific NYC taxi research and development that Nissan conducted-including crash testing with the installed partition-we are confident that the Nissan NV200 taxi provides a solution that is optimal in safety, comfort and convenience for passengers and drivers alike.
With production starting last month on the all-electric Nissan e-NV200 and a global rollout planned thereafter, one has to wonder if the automaker will make the EV version of The Taxi of Tomorrow available for New York’s cab drivers within the next five years.