Thursday, May 24, 2007

Make taxis Go Green

When it comes to turning environmental talk into environmental action, this seems like such a simple and sensible idea: the B.C. government wants all future taxi licenses to only be approved for hybrid or highly-fuel efficient vehicles:

B.C. government is putting pressure on taxi companies in its two largest urban areas to run greener vehicles.

The province has asked the province's Passenger Transportation Board to approve taxi licenses for only hybrid or other highly fuel-efficient cars, Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon said Monday. He also wants the 100 existing applications before the board to only be approved if they're for the greener vehicles.
In addition to the stick, the province also points to available carrots, including a provincial tax exemption of up to $2000 for fuel efficient vehicles, and a federal rebate of up to $2000 as well.

With the usual turnover cycle in taxi fleets, the province hopes B.C’s entire taxi-fleet will be green in time for the 2010 Games. I understand a hybrid taxi push is also underway in New York City.

Given the amount of cabs out there, and the time they spend on the road each day, making taxis go hybrid could make a nice impact on air quality.

Particularly on smog days like we’re having this week in Toronto and much of Southern Ontario. I’d have to think hybrid taxis would be a real winner here, and I’m surprised Toronto Mayor David Miller hasn’t done anything on the front yet. Might also be a good measure for Dalton McGuinty to jump on, with an election coming-up this fall.

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Oldschool said...

Why not do a piece on the so-called carbon footprint of a hybred . . . before it even leaves the dealers lot ?
The nickle for the 24 lb battery leaves Sudbury . . . travels thousands of miles to Asia, where it is turned into nickle-foam, then transported to another Asian country where it is turned into a Ni-cad battery. They is is shipped again to a factory in Tennessee, Ontario or wherever.
The car it is installed in has a huge "carbon footprint" before it has ever turned a wheel.
Some say equivanent to owning a Hummer!!!
The 5 year operating cost for a hybred is the same as a similar car with a 4 cyl engine that meets the California 08 emissions standard.
So whats the point of the hybred??
Makes you feel good. Wait till you have to fix it . . . repair costs as these things age will be many times higher because of the complexity. When they are 5 or 6 years old they will be worthless!!!

JimBobby said...

Whooee! Holy exclamation points!!! "Some say..."? Some other say something else. "Some say... " doesn't mean anything. Even when followed by triple exclamation points!!!

I reckon it's possible there's gonna be some knee-jerk actions that turn out less effective than hoped for. Maybe even counter effective!!!

If we hadn't been lied to by deniers like GWB who used their power to lower public awareness of the issue, we might not be operating in near-panic mode.

I ain't sure if the carbon footprint of the manufacture of hybrids is bigger, smaller or the same as conventional gas engine vehicles. Some may say it's as big as a Hummer but I ain't seen any real research from any disinterested parties.

Personally, I think we're missin' the boat on bio-diesel. Ethanol has lots of drawbacks. Bio-diesel not so many. Convertin' a petro-diesel engine to bio-diesel is fairly simple. Bio-diesel can be made from waste products like French fry grease. That's win-win stuff, sez I.


rob said...

Hey Scarborough blogger. I live in the beach and I write something called Fuel Ghoul.
I'd like to talk to you.

I also agree with hybrid car carbon footrpint comment and Jim Bobby too, but think biodiesel taxis in Toronto would be a wonderful thing.