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NSW government allows hybrids to be used as taxis

Posted by Car Geek on November 28, 2007

Soon to be a common sight on Sydney's roads? Image from, licenced under CC 2.0. Sydneysiders could soon be hitching a ride in a much cleaner, quieter vehicle in the future, after today’s announcement from New South Wales transport minister John Watkins that taxi regulations are being changed to allow operators to use the Toyota Prius.

The Prius was trialled by the NSW government previously to determine its suitability as a taxi vehicle, with the results proving successful and commercially viable enough to allow permanent operation of the vehicles.

“I expect to see more and more Prius on the road as taxi operators strive to deliver greener options,” Mr Watkins said.

“Based on the popularity of the green taxi, I imagine we will also see a significant take-up of compliant hybrid vehicles in hire car fleets.”

The vehicles are especially well-suited to urban taxis, which start and stop frequently, and allows the vehicle to operate accessories such as air conditioning and the radio without idling, making it ideal for the long periods of time some taxis spend in queues.


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Perth gets hybrid taxis

Posted by Car Geek on July 8, 2007

Toyota Prius taxi in NYC, from

Western Australia is set to be the third Australian state to trial hybrid taxis, with the state government offering a $15,000 grant and up to 20 per cent reduction in the vehicle lease rates for up to 10 hybrid taxis. Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan said that, combined, the vehicles would emit 410 tonnes less CO2 over an eight-year lifespan when compared to standard taxis such as the six-cylinder Holden Commodore or Ford Falcon.

Hybrids are well-suited to urban driving where idling and frequent start-stopping is common, making taxis an ideal candidate. New York City in the United States is planning to convert their entire fleet to hybrid vehicles, and the vehicles are also being trialled in Townsville and Sydney. Unfortunately the WA government is likely to be limited in the variety of vehicles to be offered as part of the grant application process, with only two hybrids being sold in Australia currently that would suit the role: the Toyota Prius and the Honda Civic Hybrid (there is also a third hybrid available, the Lexus RX400h, but at about $95,000 each it’s unlikely to be racking up the kilometres as a taxi). The programme may be extended if it is judged to be successful, but no time frame was given for a wider introduction of the hybrid vehicles.

(Source: PerthNow)

Posted in Hybrid, Legislation, Taxis | 14 Comments »