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New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission approved Tesla’s Model 3 as the first all-electric car available for use in its taxi system. The commission puts limits on the number of available medallions, so a driver would need to purchase the medallion for their Tesla.

The Tesla is the only approved electric vehicle. Medallions have been approved for numerous hybrid vehicles. Tesla’s range of 220 miles make it more effective than the Nissan Leaf electric cars that were piloted in 2015. The first-generation Leaf lasted 84 miles before needing a charge.

Teslas are already used in “for hire,” vehicles in the city. These standards are different than those of NYC taxis. “For hire” includes black car services and ride share options like Uber or Lyft.

In 2014, the typical taxi drove 70,000 miles each year. Switching taxis to electric vehicles have multiple environmental benefits. These vehicles release less emissions, because they use electricity instead of fossil fuels. According to the Department of Energy, two thirds of petroleum used in 2018 went to transportation. Electric vehicles reduce both dependence and emissions of fossil fuels.

Taxi cars get certified by the commission when requested by a single drive or fleet company. Teslas have been used as taxis in Quebec and Columbus. None have been registered so far in New York City.

Elon Musk promised autonomous robo-taxis by 2020. Read more electric car and Elon Musk news in One Green Planet. Check out these articles:

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