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SEA-TAC Airport Taxis = Prius-ville

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by Rockster, May 30, 2017.

  1. Rockster

    Rockster Active Member

    Oct 22, 2013
    McKinney, TX
    I spent the weekend in Seattle and noticed that SEA-TAC airport taxis are exclusively Priuses. I asked a driver why and he said, "Only Prius." That's as much as I could get from him so I researched it a bit and it appears that the law requires any taxi or rideshare vehicle operating at the SEA-TAC airport meet a 45 mpg equivalent or better requirement. Doesn't that pretty much make the Prius the only reasonable option for vehicles that are in service such a high percentage of the time? Only the Bolt would be a viable alternative but there's no charging solution that would permit the taxi drivers to be in service as much as they would want to be.

    I could envision Tesla building a massive Supercharger near the airport to attract taxi drivers to the Model 3, but that could become difficult logistically, considering just how many vehicles there are. Just one overflow Taxi lot I drove through had more than 200 Priuses waiting for calls.

    I can't help but wonder how much Toyota lobbying was involved in crafting that 45 mpg-e requirement. ;)
  2. Ampster

    Ampster Member

    Oct 5, 2012
    Sonoma, California
    Could be the case at SeaTac, but Toyota had no luck in China convincing the government that Prii should be given the same incentives as EVs. A Prius is taxed just like a gas car in China and that has made Toyota rethink their philosophy and they have started and EV division. China does not have the same fascination with Hydrogen as the Japanese.

    In addition I recently read that Beijing is trying to evolve to all electric taxis. It will be interesting to see the charging solutions that they come up with for that implementation.
  3. Saghost

    Saghost Well-Known Member

    Oct 9, 2013
    These days, I think most of the mid size hybrids met that requirement, too - Ford Fusion, Chevy Malibu, Toyota Camry/Avalon, Honda Accord. And of course there's the new Ioniq.

    I expect you'll see a lot of Bolts and 3s as taxis in the future, too, adding with second generation Leafs if they show up as expected.

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