Six Nissan Leafs will be on the streets of New York City, in a pilot program to make the city’s fleet more eco-friendly. One of the most traffic-clogged cities in the world, switching to EVs will reduce emissions and pollution, making the air more breathable and potentially reducing conditions like asthma long-term. EVs will produce much less noise pollution as well, another common New Yorker complaint.
The city hopes to have a third of the fleet be electric vehicles by 2020. I say, why stop there? With the leaps in battery technology, the current issues that the cabbies piloting the program are experiencing will be non issues within the next few years. Uppkar Singh Thind, a cabby of 17 years, says he can only drive for about 3 1/2 hours on a charge, because with the traffic and having to run the air conditioning in the summer, the power runs out fast. He also points to a lack of enough fast chargers in the city, which if the fleet were to switch to EVs, would become an even more pressing problem. Still, while Sindh has to turn down the occasional ride because of range anxiety, he says he makes twice the amount in tips he used to, which makes up for any net losses in fare. Overall, “no regrets”.
There are already a number of fleets that includes hybrid cars, and EVs are the next step. With the increasing implementation of fast-charge station and the ever-developing technology, that step is not far off. Sindh could charge his car in a half hour, for only $7. When was the last time anyone paid $7 for a tank of gas?