Next time you catch a cab in New York City, it might be an electric Mustang Mach-E. Yes, folks, Ford’s mass-market EV will dress in yellow and join the city’s iconic taxi ranks.
The Mustang will join the electric taxi fleet of EV startup Gravity, which is already planning to deploy a Tesla Model Y as well. The company hopes to have a fleet of at least 50 electric vehicles, comprised of both Mach-Es and Model Ys.
Gravity’s vehicles are authorized for use as taxis, under an EV pilot program adopted by the Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) earlier this year. As such, they are incorporated into the city’s regulated fleet of yellow cabs.
What to expect?
Both vehicles will be available for hail either on the street or through standard yellow taxi e-hail apps.
They’ll also come with a few extras like a panoramic roof, a 12-inch screen display for the riders’ entertainment, and AI tech that promises to “help prevent driver distraction as well as monitor the vehicle for safe driving behaviors.”
To maximize the operating hours, Gravity will use its own charging hub at Manhattan Plaza on West 42nd Street, where the vehicles will be charged overnight during off-peak hours.
What’s the takeaway?
It’s not surprising that taxi and rental operators are adding electric vehicles to their fleets. In the case of NYC it’s a necessary move, given that the New York state has decided to ban gas guzzler sales by 2035.
What will be interesting to see is how private companies will cooperate with governmental bodies like the TLC to scale up the numbers in time.
And as for which kinds of EVs we can expect to see hitting the city’s streets as yellow taxis, the TLC has already published a list of approved vehicles:
- Tesla Model Y, Long Range AWD
- Volkswagen E-Golf, SE, SEL Premium
- Volkswagen ID.4, Pro RWD, 1st Edition, Pro S
- Volkswagen ID.5, Pro AWD, Pro S AWD
- Hyundai Ioniq Electric, SE, Limited
- Audi E-Tron, Premium Plus Quattro, Prestige
- Kia Niro EV, EX FWD, EX Premium FWD
- Mustang Mach-E, Select, California Route 1, Premium RWD
Since we’re two down, I can’t wait for the next electric taxi choice!