NEW YORK – Nissan releases more details about its NV200 “Taxi of Tomorrow” ahead of the auto show media days here and a ceremony tonight in Soho with CEO Carlos Ghosn and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
“The exclusive Taxi of Tomorrow draws on Nissan’s global experience in commercial vehicles, as well as insight from New York City taxi drivers and passengers, who helped identify important improvements over today’s cabs,” Ghosn says in a statement.
The ’14 NV200 small van goes into livery service in Manhattan and surrounding boroughs in 2013. The taxi version has room for four passengers and will carry an estimated 600,000 riders daily, Mayor Bloomberg says.
The NV200, already on sale overseas as a commercial van, was selected by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission following a 2-year bid process. It will take three to four years to convert the entire city’s taxi fleet over to NV200s, a Nissan official told WardsAuto in February.
The van is powered by the Nissan Sentra compact sedan’s 2.0L 4-cyl. gasoline engine. However, the mill has been engineered to enhance the emissions performance and fuel efficiency for the taxi fleet, the auto maker says. The taxi comes with a 150,000-mile (240,000-km) powertrain warranty.
Standard features include a “low-annoyance horn,” with exterior lights set to flash to deter horn use (the city fines cabbies $350 for honking); an Active Carbon-lined headliner to neutralize odors; independently controlled rear air conditioning; a hearing loop system for hearing-impaired passengers; and an intercom for drivers and passengers to communicate.
Additionally, there is a no-hump rear floor; a 12V electrical outlet and two USB ports for passengers to charge phones and other handheld electronic devices; a driver USB port; overhead reading lights and floor lighting; a transparent roof panel; and leather-look seat fabric that is antimicrobial and environmentally friendly, Nissan says.
The vehicle’s sliding doors, multiple airbags, traction and Vehicle Dynamic control systems enhance safety, says Nissan, noting the NV200 will be the only taxi with a full partition to be crash-tested and certified.
Nissan expects to offer a “mobility solution” for wheelchair-bound passengers who are taxi medallion holders. The auto maker is partnering with Braun, which it says is the world’s leader in automotive mobility products.
As WardsAuto previously reported, the City of New York and taxi owners will test six Nissan Leaf electric vehicles to gauge the feasibility of electric cabs as part of the Taxi of Tomorrow program. Three 220V Level 2 charging stations are being provided as part of the test program.
Nissan has said an electric NV200 is due in 2017.
The NV200 taxi will be assembled at Nissan’s Cuernavaca, Mexico, plant, costing about $29,700 with standard equipment. The cargo version of the small van goes on sale at U.S. Nissan dealers next February.