Nissan appears to have lost its exclusive rights to power New York City’s Taxi of Tomorrow, after the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission decided that operators may use alternative vehicles.
The New York Daily News reports that the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission made the decision to amend the terms of the Taxi of Tomorrow program following a ruling by a New York Supreme Court Justice in May.
Justice Peter Moulton ruled that the contract awarded to Nissan by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission in 2011 was “null, void and unenforceable” due to the city’s specific call for a “hybrid electric vehicle” not being met by the 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol-powered Nissan NV200.
The amended program now allows taxi operators to purchase a hybrid alternative to the Nissan NV200 cab, at least until 2015 when the Japanese manufacturer plans to release its own hybrid version of the van.
Planned to start hitting the streets in October, the New York NV200 taxis have been modified to carry four passengers and luggage while providing greater rear legroom, and feature sliding doors, side steps, grab handles, phone chargers, reading lights and a transparent roof.
Despite the amendments to the program’s terms, the report suggests further legal challenges are still likely.