Ahh Taxis. Love ’em or hate ’em, they provide a much-needed service to millions of Americans and travelers on an annual basis. While mostly relegated to cities, taxis can be found just about anywhere. But with stop-and-go driving the most popular taxis based on heavy, obsolete sedans, these vehicles consume far more than their fair share of fuel.
California Yellow Cab, in a bid to curb its oil consumption, has purchased 25 Ford Transit Connect vans for taxi use. While frugal with fuel already, Yellow Cab is going one step further by converting them to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).
In the past, Ford has offered CNG vehicles to fleet buyers. It doesn’t currently offer the Transit Connect as a CNG straight off the lot, but it is selling CNG upfit versions that they have provided to Yellow Cab to ensure a smooth conversion process. CNG is often touted as a right-now solution to our oil addiction, though like every potential solution, it has its detractors.
The Transit Connect has recently been approved by a number of cities for taxi use, as it is both fuel efficient and affords a lot of cargo space, an absolute must for most taxis. Ford has a pretty good stranglehold on the taxi market, with the obsolete Crown Victoria, Ford Escape, and Escape hybrid making up large chunks of the hybrid market. And I imagine once the all-electric version of the Transit Connect hits markets later this year, it will become quite popular with taxi companies across the country.