New York, New York – New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced a requirement that “black cars” – the 10,000 limousines that service corporate clients in the city – will have to increase fuel efficiency standards to a level currently achievable only by using hybrid technology. The requirement is part of PlaNYC 2030, a comprehensive set of 127 initiatives aimed at reducing New York’s carbon emissions and meeting the challenges of the city’s growing population. In December, the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) voted unanimously to approve regulations that will require all yellow taxis licensed after October 1, 2008 to meet fuel efficiency standards currently only achievable through the use of hybrid technology. Black cars currently release 272,000 tons of CO2 equivalents annually, making up two per cent of the city’s transportation-related emissions. Under the new standards, black car emissions will be cut in half.
“Over the past several months, the companies that use black cars have been meeting with drivers, base operators, car dealerships and financing groups to figure out the best away to achieve a greener fleet,” Bloomberg said. “In the end, they asked the city to take a regulatory approach. We’ve come up with a proposal similar to the new yellow cab standards, which the TLC board approved unanimously last December. Between yellow taxis and black cars, more than 23,000 TLC-regulated cars will be required to be more efficient. This will allow us to achieve substantial emissions reductions for our city and keep us moving towards our long-term goal of creating a truly sustainable city.”