Chicago to use Ford's Natural Gas Taxis

It seems like more and more transportation companies are going green. Alternative fuels are a hot trend that is only going to get hotter in our efforts to cool the planet. The signs of global warming and climate change are becoming more and more prevalent, while fuel costs continue to soar. The private sector is taking notice, both as a result of their steadily rising bottom line, and increased demand for clean renewable energy from a more eco-conscious consumer base.

Chicago’s Taxi Medallion Management in affiliation with Yellow Cab Chicago has purchased 12 clean-burning compressed natural gas Ford Transit Connect Taxis for its fleet as a test run for their move toward cleaner alternative fuel vehicles. The company is working to reduce emissions by 25%, and the natural gas vehicles purchased release 30 to 40% less greenhouse gases than standard gasoline engines.

"We are adding vehicles with more fuel-efficient gasoline engines, as well as vehicles with alternative-fuel sources, to find a vehicle mix that best suits our customers, our drivers, the city at large and the environment," said Michael Levine, CEO of Taxi Medallion Management. "We are excited about testing this new vehicle."

The Ford Transit Connect was named ‘North American Truck of the Year’ at the 2010 International Auto Show. It features a 2.0 liter I-4 engine that gets an estimated 21-26 mpg. It boasts a 30% improvement in fuel economy over traditional taxis, a 138 cubic feet cargo capacity, and 1,600 pound payload. That’s a better cargo room to miles-per-gallon to payload ratio than any other vehicle in the North American market.

Ford Fleet marketing manager, Gerald Koss, commented on the Ford Transit Connect Taxi, saying, "During product development of this vehicle, we visited cities across the U.S. speaking with taxi owners, operators, drivers and city officials on the key product attributes they wanted in a taxi. "Of course reliability and durability were key, but fuel-efficient power trains and sustainable solutions also were high on their lists."

So the next time you’re in Chicago hailing a cab, keep your eyes open for a Ford Transit Connect Taxi. The extra room and added satisfaction of knowing that you are in some small way helping to reduce greenhouse emissions may add a little extra joy to your overall experience.



This article was first published by Energy Digital.

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