With only five months until Nissan will roll out its yellow taxis in New York City, the state’s supreme court ruled the deal ‘null, void and unenforceable.’
New York Supreme Court Justice Peter Moulton ruled that taxi companies are allowed to buy hybrid electric vehicles from other automakers too, not only from Nissan, as their taxis. This has a tremendous impact on Nissan, which virtually has a monopoly over the city, with its NV200 compact to be the only cab in New York for the following 10 years.
Now, Moulton’s decree allows taxi companies to buy non-Nissan vehicles too, as part of the Taxi of Tomorrow concept implemented by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Moulton said that the agreement between Nissan and New York’s Taxi & Limousine Commission is not valid as it does not meet one important requirement of the Taxi of Tomorrow. The New York specifications asked for a ‘hybrid electric vehicle,’ and the NV200 is not such a vehicle.
Apparently, the court was not satisfied with Nissan’s promise to create a hybrid version of the NV200 by 2015. The commission will still supporting Bloomberg’s plan and commissioners said that the issue will be strengthened by a new set of rules which they will soon propose on hybrid taxis.
“This ruling will not delay the [Taxi of Tomorrow’s] implementation,” said David Yassky, chairman of the Taxi & Limousine Commission, in a prepared statement. “The TLC is acting to ensure that taxi owners will continue to have the option to purchase a hybrid vehicle, even once the ToT hits the road in October.”