Ford Mustang Mach-E joins New York’s fleet of yellow taxis

The Ford Mustang Mach-E hits the streets of New York City as the latest electric vehicle to join the ranks of the city’s iconic fleet of yellow cabs.

The Mustang Mach-E, with its new coat of Rallye yellow paint and classic taxi iconography, is operated by Gravity Technologies, a startup specializing in electric vehicle fleets and charging infrastructure. This is the first time that Ford’s new consumer electric vehicle has been deployed as a taxi. But it won’t be the last – Gravity says it eventually hopes to operate a fleet of 50 EVs including both Mustang Mach-E and Tesla Model Y.

“I think the Mustang and the Model Y are kind of like the ideal taxi vehicles that are available today,” said Moshe Cohen, founder and CEO of Gravity. The edge.

Gravity isn’t the first company to roll out electric vehicles as taxis. In 2019, the City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission approved the Tesla Model 3 as the first EV eligible to become a yellow cab. One year later, the first Model 3 was spotted in the city. (The edge alum Sam Sheffer took a ride late last year.) And earlier this year, moped-sharing company Revel announced plans to launch 50 Tesla Model Y as a rental vehicle fleet in Manhattan – although the city has by subsequently blocked this plan. (The company finally won approval.)

Gravity is taking a different path by integrating its vehicles into the city’s regulated fleet of yellow taxis. The vehicles are licensed for use as taxis under an electric vehicle pilot program adopted by the TLC earlier this year. But in order to do that, Gravity will need to hire a Taxi Medallion, which is a permit issued by the city to allow people to own and operate taxis. The company is certified as a taxi agent, which means that it is allowed to rent medallions. The Mustang Mach-E has undergone TLC approvals and inspections, but Cohen said there will likely be additional features to deploy that will require future approval.

Cohen said Gravity installed an “artificial intelligence camera” that tracks the driver’s face to avoid distraction. The company also tracks vehicle speed and other driving maneuvers to ensure drivers are operating safely.

Electric vehicle charging infrastructure can be hard to come by in New York City, but Gravity operates its own charging station in a parking lot in Midtown Manhattan. The company plans to install more chargers in the future, Cohen said, including fast chargers capable of speeds of up to 350 kW.

In the United States, more and more taxi operators are integrating electric vehicles into their fleets, encouraged by cost savings and marketing potential. Car rental companies are also jumping into the action, with Hertz recently placing an order for 100,000 cars from Tesla. (News of the order has skyrocketed shares of both companies, for the first time pushing Tesla’s valuation to over $ 1,000 billion.)

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