NYC’s Taxi and Limousine Commission will require the city’s 10,000 black car fleet – the luxury cars that service corporate clients – to increase fuel efficiency standards to a level currently achievable only by using hybrid technology.
In December, the TLC voted to approve regulations that will require all yellow taxis licensed after October 1, 2008, to meet fuel efficiency standards currently only achievable through the use of hybrid technology. Black cars currently release 272,000 tons of CO2 equivalents annually, which make up two percent of the City’s transportation emissions. Under the new standards, emissions from black cars will be cut in half.
One reason emissions from black cars are high is because many line up, idling in front of office buildings in Midtown and Lower Manhattan waiting for customers. Hybrid automobiles switch to battery power while idling, significantly reducing emissions. Currently, black cars average 12-15 mph. The TLC will require fuel efficiency standards for new licensed black car vehicles of 25mpg in 2009 and 30mpg in 2010.
To help drivers finance the down payment associated with buying a new car, the City has worked with partners in the financial sector, auto dealers, and black car fleets to develop a range of products that will finance the higher down payment.