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Consumer Reports - NY Taxi Fleet- What If It Was Green

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
Kia Rondo Taxi Cab Concept

Replacing current fleet with more fuel-efficient cars could save more than $66 million in fuel costs; 22,285,714 gallons of gasoline; and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 88,400 tons annually

YONKERS, NY May 7, 2007; Consumer Reports evaluated the potential benefits of replacing NYC’s nearly 13,000 yellow Ford Crown Victorias with a more fuel-efficient car, like the proposed Kia Rondo taxi unveiled at the New York Auto Show.

The results: Using the current $2.97 per gallon national average for regular gas, the potential annual fuel savings from switching the existing medallion taxi fleet to the Rondo, or a similar-performing car, could be 22,285,714 gallons and $66,188,571 million in fuel costs. Greenhouse gas emissions could also be reduced by 88,400 tons of carbon dioxide per year.

CR made these calculations after seeing a display at the recent Auto Show by the Design Trust for Public Space, which looked at the future of urban taxis. Carmakers were invited to showcase potential fuel-efficient replacements for the Crown Victoria taxi cab, which gets around 10 mpg in city driving.

The compact, minivan-like Kia Rondo was the only entry displayed by a major manufacturer. Consumer Reports crunched the numbers to evaluate the potential impact if a fleet of four-cylinder Rondos replaced the Crown Victorias. CR came up with the hypothetical fuel and cost savings based on an estimated 14 mpg for the Rondo in city driving. Beyond reducing gasoline consumption, switching the fleet could help achieve Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s recently announced initiative for a 30-percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Even if a fraction of the total 53,000 New York city taxis, and other vehicles for hire, were exchanged for more-fuel-efficient cars, the savings and reduced emissions in just this one fleet would be significant. And the change could potentially inspire fleets in other cities to move toward more fuel-efficient vehicles.

A closer look at and the potential benefits for updating the NYC taxi fleet can be found at:

Consumer Reports is one of the most trusted sources for information and advice on consumer products and services. It conducts the most comprehensive auto-test program of any U.S. publication or Website; the magazine’s auto experts have decades of experience in driving, testing, and reporting on cars. To subscribe to Consumer Reports, call 1-800-234-1645. Information and articles from the magazine can be accessed online at