A federal judge recently ruled that a year-old mandate that requires cab owners in Boston, Massachusetts, to buy new hybrid cars by 2015 violated an act of Congress, reports The Boston Globe. Despite the ruling, Boston cab owners are in favor of a green fleet. Similarly, taxi companies in the UK support the use of hybrid vehicles to help them cut both fuel consumption and carbon emissions.
Raphael Ophir, a Jamaica Plain plaintiff in the lawsuit, told the Boston Globe that he and other cab drivers favor a green fleet, but they objected to a rule that they had to buy new hybrids, instead of used ones, and that other fuel-efficient cars were unacceptable.
U.S. District Court Judge William G. Young agreed with taxi owners who said that the mandate to green the entire fleet of 1,825 licensed cabs would cost them thousands of dollars and put many out of business.
Young said the city infringed on the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, which establishes fuel economy standards for vehicles and prohibits local officials from setting up their own standards, according to The Boston Globe.
The 17-page ruling mirrored a recent decision by a federal judge in New York halting the city’s plan for hybrid cabs, reports the newspaper.
In the UK, cab companies are already making moves to green their fleets. In Scotland, as an example, Calder Cabs became the first in the country to purchase a fleet of hybrid cabs, reports Scotsman.com News.
Calder Cabs, which purchased six Toyota Prius hybrids, said the Prius offers a 104g/km CO2 emissions rate and 65/67mpg fuel efficiency, according to Energy Saving Trust.
Scotland’s Ministers recently announced plans for all public sector vehicles to be electric or have low-carbon emissions by 2020, to help meet the country’s climate change targets, according to Scotsman.com News.
London recently announced that it wants to be the world’s greenest city by 2012, and part of the city’s plan calls for replacing diesel taxis with electric cars.