SAN FRANCISCO – Ford’s role in helping San Francisco become what some call the “Greenest Taxi City in America” is being celebrated today as part of an event highlighting the city’s success in reducing fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee are among those celebrating San Francisco’s success in meeting the guidelines since the Green Taxi Law went into effect three years ago.
Among other things, the law calls for gas consumption and greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced 20 percent by 2012 with 1990 as the baseline year. Today, Ford vehicles account for 67 percent of San Francisco’s green fleet.
“When I announced this goal, many people didn’t think it could be done,” said Newsom. “The clean taxi program has shown that aggressive action is possible at the local level to make major reductions in carbon emissions, reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and accelerate a new green economy. Now we are here today recognizing San Francisco as the ‘Greenest Taxi City in America.’”
Since 2008, San Francisco taxis have reduced gas consumption by 2.9 million gallons per year and lowered greenhouse gas emissions by 35,000 tons annually.
“Ford is proud to be part of such a marked increase in fuel efficiency,” said Gerald Koss, Ford’s fleet marketing manager. “We expect to see more improvements as we continue to introduce more alternative-fuel vehicles and expand the power of choice to the taxi industry.”
CNG-powered Transit Connect Taxis, for example, are available and soon will hit the streets of San Francisco. CNG-powered Transit Connect Taxis are being used in other parts of the country as well, servicing places such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Las Vegas and St. Louis.
The standard Ford Transit Connect – 2010 North American Truck of the Year – features a 2.0-liter I-4 engine that gets 22 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway, an estimated 30 percent improvement in fuel economy compared with traditional taxis.
The estimated fuel economy of a CNG-powered Transit Connect Taxi is the same as the standard gasoline version. However, operating costs are lower because the cost of a gasoline gallon equivalent of CNG is roughly half the cost of a gallon of regular gasoline. In addition to CNG, Transit Connect Taxi is available with an engine preparation package for conversion to liquefied propane gas (LPG).
CNG-powered Transit Connect Taxis aren’t the only options available to replace the outgoing Escape Hybrid. The all-new Fusion Hybrid, for example, provides an anticipated 6 more miles per gallon than the existing Fusion Hybrid.
If past performance is any indication of future results, Paul Gillespie, taxi driver and former Taxi Commission president, said he is excited.
“Cutting global carbon dioxide emissions is one of the most crucial issues of our time, and the San Francisco taxi experience has shown that taking aggressive, collaborative action at the local level can be both profitable and effective,” said Gillespie.
Lee said that the city’s fleet, led by vehicles like the Fusion Hybrid and outgoing Escape Hybrid, has set a powerful example for others to follow.
“San Francisco’s clean taxi program has exceeded all expectations,” said Lee. “San Francisco taxicabs are the cleanest in the U.S. and a model to other taxi fleets around the world.”