The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, the nation’s largest cab fleet, has chosen Nissan Motor Co. to design and supply a cab starting in late 2013.
The Japanese automaker beat out Ford Motor Co. and Karsan USA in a contest for the rights to anchor the fleet.
Nissan’s tall, boxy NV200 minivan is already in use as a taxi in some other parts of the globe.
The new cabs will be integrated into the city starting in 2013. Among its special features will be a “low-annoyance” horn that works in tandem with blinking lights to gently urge pedestrians and drivers to get out of the way.
It will also have a mobile charging station and USB outlets that can be used by passengers.
The NV200 taxi will be built in Cuernavaca, Mexico. It’s a version of a truck Nissan sells in Japan, Europe and China and will have a base price of about $29,000.
As part of the deal (and fitting the goals of NYC’s green Mayor Michael Bloomberg), Nissan also will give the city six Leaf electric cars and charging stations and work with cab owners to study the use of EVs.
The 4-cylinder vans will get a combined fuel efficiency of 25 miles per gallon, nearly double what the Ford Crown Victoria gets.