Just when Tesla is gliding along to become the very first new automobile company to find success since WWII, it does this. What we’re talking about is the Tesla Model 3 taxis. New York is starting to become infiltrated with them. They may be a good taxi but how do Model 3 owners feel now that their Tesla is nothing more than a pedestrian taxi?
The Taxi and Limousine Commission of New York added the Model 3 to its approved list.
It’s been about a year since the Taxi and Limousine Commission of New York added the Tesla Model 3 to its approved list. Right now the list includes the Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, Hyundai Sonata, Ford Escape, Nissan NV 200 van, and other rather pedestrian sedans. So while Tesla shines as the only pure electric vehicle on the list it represents rental fleet-type sedans.
So now the Model 3 is essentially in the same league as a Sonata. Or Escape. Fine vehicles for sure. But do they match the reputation that Tesla has achieved? Now, they lower Tesla’s rep to that of a taxi. A New York taxi. You know, the ones with the foul smell, rubber covered seats, and rude drivers. (Before we get your angry emails most of the NY cabbies MotorBiscuit has come in contact with have been stellar human beings).
The Teslas have posed certain unique problems for both passengers and cabbies
The Teslas have posed certain unique problems for both passengers and cabbies. Those trick recessed door handles throw passengers for a loop. They’re just not familiar with the retracting, chrome handles. Signs that say “push here” will be added above the handles.
On the cabbie’s side, range anxiety is a problem according to interviews conducted by Business Insider. Most taxis see two 12 hour shifts per day. To address the range issue the Model 3 only sees one 12 hour shift per day. The other half, Tesla is being charged. But while this doesn’t sound good remember that the gas necessary to do those 12-hour shifts is one of the drivers’ top expenses.
The thought now is to utilize Model 3s as “black cars.” These for-hire sedans are more in line with Tesla’s rep as opposed to a Chevy Malibu. Some NY taxi operators are saying the Model Y would make for a much better taxi. The problem is that they’re too expensive for that role.
In 2014 Amsterdam first incorporated Teslas as taxis
A lot of these issues were pretty much dealt with in 2014 when Amsterdam first incorporated Teslas as taxis. Columbus, Ohio, has been running a fleet of Tesla Model 3 taxis since 2019. Of its 170 taxis, 10 of them are the Model 3. The city of Columbus has over 500 charging stations within its boundaries.
Back in New York, Drive Sally is the taxi company that has stepped up for this first Model 3. It is only one of 1,000 taxis it leases in both New York and Chicago. Whether the stars align with this coupling of Drive Sally and Tesla Model 3 sedans it’s a moot point. With many cities and countries announcing bans on gas-powered vehicles by 2025, or 2035, all taxi companies will have to follow Drive Sally’s lead in the not too distant future.