New York City to try out Nissan LEAF taxis


April 22, 2013

One of six new Nissan LEAF taxis that will be serving New York City

One of six new Nissan LEAF taxis that will be serving New York City

Ever wonder if an electric car has what it takes to work as a taxi on the mean streets of New York City? Well, we’re about to find out. Nissan has donated six of its LEAFs to the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission for use in a one-year pilot project, in which they’ll serve as cabs in the Big Apple.

Nissan and the City of New York have already collaborated on the Taxi of Tomorrow project, which will see a modified version of the automaker’s internal combustion-engined NV200 minivan become the new NYC taxicab vehicle about six months from now. In the meantime, however, the city is interested in learning how a pure-electric car can be integrated into a fleet of conventional taxis. It’s part of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan that calls for one third of New York City’s taxis to be electric by the year 2020.

All of the LEAF-using taxi drivers and fleet owners volunteered to take part in the project. They’ll be able to recharge their cars’ batteries overnight at their homes or at fleet garages, plus they’ll have access to several CHAdeMO-standard DC quick chargers which are being installed at various points around the city – these can charge a LEAF to approximately 80 percent in under 30 minutes.

The project begins later this spring. More information is available in the video below.

Source: Nissan

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

In Bulgaria we have these taxi in a year now and many people use it.


Should turn out to be a wonderful application for these vehicles. I suspect the charging won't be too much of a problem, but for the standing time maintaining AC or heat for the driver / passengers.

Dave B13

Leaf leaves me speechless!

Liaquat Ali

If you want an overly expensive cab with increasingly short range, and the mother of expensive replacement part go electric.


It will be interesting to see how this works out for the taxi operators. I think that the range limitation of the Leaf will hinder normal taxi operations. I guess that Nissan is not charging money for the use of the cars which might make up for the loss of revenue when the cars cannot be as heavily utilized as a conventional car. Most taxis run on an 18-20 hour a day duty cycle which will not work with a full EV like the Leaf. Maybe NYC should consider the idea of a "dual medallion" which would cover two EVs with only one being allowed to be on-duty at at time. Telematics could be used to keep the taxi company honest.

Mike Harrigan

When I was driving a taxi, I racked up about 200 miles a day, and that's about typical. These taxis will have to be recharged about 5 times per shift, that's 2-1/2 hours of down time- per day.

William Lanteigne

Report: Holland Tunnel is shut down - seems a Leaf ran out of charge sitting in the backup Waiting for tow truck to pull it out


hello. what about a fleet of a few hundred quiet electric Leafs wirelessly recharging at every intersection within the city grid?


So I guess now when you get into a taxi in New York, you gotta ask the driver if he has the charge to get to your destination and then back to a charging station...yeah...this is a stupid idea! I have a coworker who has the Leaf, and while he loves the thing, it has just enough juice to get him to work and home again. If he decides to go out for lunch, he has a sphincter clenching ride home as his last 10 miles his car informs him he's on zero charge....He's showed me the diamonds his butt created from the clenching, nerve wracking drive! So I guess Taxi drivers have to take a fare...then level 3 charge it for an hour just to take the next fare....not very efficient use of drivers time.


re; rollzone

How many EVs can be charged at one time without blowing the electric grid.


I think this is both cool and green. I think when they develope better batteries - from what I read, they did - it would be even more practical since it would help reduce emissions in the city of New York, making it a even more pleasant place.

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