New York City taxi bid winner Nissan faces hard time

New York City taxi bid winner Nissan faces hard time

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
New York City taxi bid winner Nissan faces hard time

NV200, the Nissan car picked as New York’s Taxi of Tomorrow, is seen on display at the New York auto show.

The New York City comptroller’s outburst on New York City’s “Taxi of Tomorrow” project may cloud Nissan’s prospects to finalize negotiations to make its NV200 model, which beat two other finalists, Turkish vehicle maker Karsan’s V1 concept and Ford Transit Connect, in last year’s tender for the first taxi built specifically for the city.

John Liu, who is running for mayor in next year’s elections, has vowed to block Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s “Taxi of Tomorrow” project if the new cabs aren’t wheelchair-accessible, according to the

Liu said last week he would reject a city contract with Nissan to sell taxis to drivers and fleet owners unless city administration required the new rides comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

However, it seems like it is not in the comptroller’s power to block the contract as his authority is generally limited to instances of corruption, according to the City Charter, otherwise he has to sign off on practically every city contract. Some 13,200 yellow cabs are currently in use in New York, with only 230 being wheel-chair accessible.Nissan’s NV200 does not feature wheel-chair access, but the Turkish contestant Karsan’s V1 is designed to serve disabled citizens. Nissan’s NV200 can be converted at an additional cost, according to the news portal.

Karsan’s roadshow

Meanwhile Karsan will launch a road-show to promote the V1 at an organization in London on June12 and 13. Karsan’s Executive Director Jan Nahum has been invited as the guest of honor to the “Urban Mobility 3.0,” organized by Frost & Sullivan, a business research and consulting firm.

The firm will display its third functioning prototype of the V1 taxi concept. London has some 22,000 taxis and will begin requiring taxis feature electric motors from 2015 on, Nahum told the daily Vatan. “All the taxis in London will be converted to electric vehicles by 2020. London is a great opportunity for us,” he said. The new concept is customized for London with a 63 kwh electric motor, which was supplied from an Asian producer, he said.

But Karsan’s biggest target is still the United Sates as there are many good opportunities for the V1 model to be used in other cities, he said, noting that a final deal regarding the New York taxi tender process has not been inked.

The Concept V1 is currently under development and planned to be put into serial production in the third quarter of 2014, he said. Having invested more than $20 million so far, he said the total investment cost will hit 250 million euros excluding motor manufacturing.

Crash test will be carried out next year in Spain, he added. The Concept V1 was premiered at this year’s Geneva Motor Show.