New York City’s May Bloomberg has long been a controversial figure, from his ban on oversized soft drinks and smoking to his insistence on a uniform taxi fleet. But Bloomberg and Nissan have been dealt a severe setback, with a high court judge striking down the provision that legally obligates cabbies to buy the NV200 “Taxi of Tomorrow.”
The NV200 was the winner of a contest held by New York City, which up until a few years ago had left taxi operators to use whatever vehicles they felt like. This allowed for a variety of vehicles, including hybrids like the Toyota Prius and Ford Escape, to make their way on the scene. But by and large most cabbies used the tried-and-true Ford Crown Victoria, with some companies stockpiling whole replacement fleets before the law went into effect at the end of October.
The law would have made it so all non-hybrid taxi purchases had to be a Nissan NV200, but cabbies fought back with a multitude of lawsuits. Unsurprisingly, the taxi and limo associations won, with New York Justice Hagler stating that there are no provisions in the city charter giving the mayor the authority to dictate what taxi cabs must be used.
While some companies will no doubt still opt to buy the NV200, which Nissan has spent plenty of time and money designing and researching for the New York market, they are no longer obligated to do so. Nissan’s captive consumer base has been set free, which could delay plans for an eventual fleet of all-electric taxis that is still being tested in the streets of the Big Apple.
Whose side are you on?
Source: Wall St. Journal