We know how tough field service workers can be on their vans. But how about New York City taxi drivers?
Come 2014, the Nissan NV200, a van we’ve written about extensively and that field service techs have started flocking to, will replace those iconic Crown Vics as the official taxicab make of New York City.
The NV was officially announced as the winner of the “Taxi of Tomorrow” competition last fall, when it beat out the Ford Transit Connect and the Karsan V1. It was picked by the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) to replace the city’s current fleet of Ford Crown Victoria taxis starting next year. On Tuesday, the big yellow vans were unveiled.
The yellow submarine-looking NV200 van is coming equipped with just about all the bells and whistles (talk about a “smart” van). It can hold up to four passengers and the spacious cabin has an impressive list of tourist/passenger-friendly features like a sunroof to check out the skyline, sliding doors on both sides, temperature settings, antimicrobial seats, odor-eliminating carbon-lined headliners, and a 12-volt electrical outlet and two USB ports for charging electronics on the go.
Nissan signed a 10-year contract with the city to supply over 15,000 vans at $29,7000 each, fully outfitted, and will generate about $1 billion in revenue for the car maker. The TLC says about 600,000 riders use taxis to get around New York City’s 6,300 miles of streets every day, and a cab can carry around 30 passengers per shift.
For the driver, the NV200 has a state-of-the art driver’s seat, a USB auxiliary audio output, navigation system, and back-up camera that will make navigating the streets of SoHo a bit easier. For payments, the new vans will come equipped with a clearly labeled RFID area (for mobile purchases like Google Checkout) and can also handle the traditional credit card swipes. Here’s a nice little video of the ins and outs of the “Taxi of Tomorrow.”
One interesting note is that NYC hasn’t gone green with its new taxis — the Nissan NV200 has a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder gasoline engine. And Nissan is certainly familiar with electric vehicles. The company has an all-electric van for the NV200, which is currently being tested in London by FedEx, but apparently it’s just not ready for the Big Apple.
More: Designing the Perfect Van: Q-and-A with Nissan’s Mike Hobson
Service Vans Can Be Cool, Too: Q-and-A With Motor Trend’s Allyson Harwood
With Zero-Emission e-NV200 Van, Nissan Looking to Court Business Crowd.