Though the Nissan NV200 had seemed like a promising Taxi of Tomorrow, politics and public expectations are making it difficult for the minivan to become the widespread, official cab of the Big Apple.
The taxi has been struggling to take off because of political blockage and the public’s reluctance to move on from the yellow Crown Victoria it has been so accustomed to. A state Supreme Court judge recently made a third adverse ruling to prevent the city from going ahead with the Taxi of Tomorrow plan, and though the Bloomberg Administration said it planned to appeal immediately, the mayor is due to leave office on Dec. 31 and none of the candidates looking to succeed him in 2014 are in favor of the project.
But Nissan still believes in the potential of the NV200. It’s got sliding doors on both sides for easy access and a flat floor for better legroom, as well as a panoramic sunroof to let passengers enjoy the skyline. Along with the improved fuel economy and reduced carbon emissions, the minivan was and remains a flat improvement over its New York predecessor.
“From a volume and brand promotion standpoint, we believe the Taxi of Tomorrow program was and continues to be a very successful opportunity for Nissan,” said Joe Castelli, Nissan’s VP of commercial fleets and vehicles in North America. “But it is not our only opportunity, as we intend for the NV200 Taxi to show up in many cities throughout the country.”
Nissan is also developing a hybrid version of the NV200 to better help establish it as a taxi of the future, so all hope is definitely not lost. With a bit of luck, Nissan’s Taxi of Tomorrow will soon be the Taxi of Today.