The Cleantech Venture Network is working to convert taxis to hybrids – a move that could save $50 billion in fuel costs over a decade, Red Herring reports (via The Energy Blog). The network on Wednesday launched the Cleantech Innovation Institute to work on projects such as this one.
North America’s 196,000 taxis drive an average of 10 times more than regular passenger cars, according to the article. Switching cabs to hybrids will save cab drivers an average of $1,200 to $1,500 per month on fuel.
But upfront costs are a problem – leasing companies don’t generally lease to taxi companies or fleet owners because they drive too many miles, according to the story. The institute is in discussions with GE Finance to try to negotiate this leasing at a higher cost, but one that would still bring car drivers a return on their investment.
New York and San Francisco both announced hybrid taxi programs last year.