Nissan Americas confirmed that, beginning immediately, the U.S.-built Nissan Altima has been approved for use in New York City's taxi cab fleet by the City's Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC). Currently, approximately 306 hybrid-electric (HEV) Nissan Altima units are in use as taxi cabs on New York City streets. In a rule-making meeting today, TLC officials extended approval to include the non-HEV version of Altima, a top-selling sedan in the United States.
The expanded approval for Altima in New York City's current taxi fleet is the latest TLC announcement involving Nissan. In May, Nissan was selected as the exclusive provider of the City's next-generation "Taxi of Tomorrow," beginning in 2013. Since Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the selection of Nissan's NV200, Nissan has collaborated with the City to confirm design specifications for the new taxi, and has begun preliminary vehicle engineering and production planning, as well as baseline safety testing, for a purpose-built vehicle that will be specifically tuned to the city's streets.
"We're excited about the expanded opportunity for New York taxi drivers and passengers to experience the Nissan Altima," said Joe Castelli, Nissan's vice president, Fleet & Commercial Vehicles. "We're proud that Nissan was selected to provide New York City's Taxi of Tomorrow and we're focused now on delivering the safest, most comfortable and most convenient taxi ever to travel the City's streets. While our work on that program is underway, we're pleased that Nissan can increase its presence in today's New York taxi fleet."
To date, Nissan has manufactured more than four million Nissan Altima units at its Canton, Miss., and Smyna, Tenn., vehicle assembly plants. The vehicle consistently ranks as a top-seller in its segment and the HEV version has been part of New York City's taxi fleet since 2009.
As part of the Taxi of Tomorrow program, Nissan also will work with the City and taxi owners on a pilot program to study the use of zero-emission, electric vehicles as taxis. Nissan will provide up to six 100-percent electric Nissan LEAFs to taxi owners for testing in 2012 as well as the charging stations to support their use.