Yellow Cab Is Going Green
Yellow Cab Is Going Green
Everyone knows that driving a vehicle that gets good gas mileage is beneficial to the environment. At Yellow Cab Company of Sacramento, we’ve discovered that trading to more fuel-efficient, earth-friendly vehicles is also a boost to our company’s and our drivers’ bottom line.
When most people think of a “Yellow Cab,” they picture a large four-door sedan, often the Ford Crown Victorias similar to those traditionally favored by police departments throughout the United States. These sturdy workhorses have the advantage of roomy backseats and good mechanical reliability over time. On the downside, however, their gas mileage is typically about 16 or 17 miles per gallon. Gas prices fluctuate, but, as you no doubt have noticed, the general trend over time is up, and that’s not likely to change any time soon. Higher prices at the pump make it harder for our drivers to make a profit.
Our fleet comprises 114 vehicles total right now, including six that are owned and operated by the cab drivers, and one more owner-operated Scion on deck. Over the past five years, as part of our normal cycle of replacing older vehicles, Yellow Cab has begun phasing out our Crown Vics and replacing them with hybrid and higher-fuel efficiency Toyota Prius hybrids, Scion xBs, and 4-cylinder Toyota Camrys. We just got in four new Priuses this week! Currently we have 26 Priuses, plus two new ones that are not yet outfitted as cabs; 47 Scions; and 10 Camrys. The remaining vehicles in the fleet are five ADA accessible vans, one Mazda5 and one owner-operated Caravan. With these new Prius additions we’ll be left with just 24 of the Crown Vics, and we hope to replace all or most of them by the end of 2014.
The Prius, which combines a conventional internal combustion engine (burning gasoline) with an electric propulsion system, is the best-selling hybrid in the world and gets about 50 mpg, city and highway driving combined. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board (CARB) rate the Prius as “among the cleanest vehicles sold in the United States based on smog-forming emissions.”
And the Prius’ gas mileage record keeps getting better. Toyota executive Satoshi Ogiso told Autoblog.com last year that each successive generation of Prius has improved fuel economy by about 10%. At that rate the 2015 model Priuses are expected to get about 55 mpg—good news for motorists and for Mother Earth.
The Scion xBs and Camrys also have helped our drivers cut fuel costs, with the Scions getting 24 to 29 mpg, the Camrys 23 to 27 mpg. The Scions also have a roomy backseat for passengers and good cargo space. Consumer Reports has rated its reliability as “outstanding,” and it’s known as a safe vehicle, winning the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Top Safety Pick six years in a row.
No doubt in coming years we will see technology improve and costs of that technology go down, and other alternative fuel sources may be developed as well. In the meantime, we at Yellow Cab are committed to continuing our efforts to reduce the fuel use, and the “carbon footprint,” of our fleet. It’s the right thing to do for our families and our community, and it makes good business sense for our drivers and our company, too.