The Ford Mustang Mach-E is the newest electric vehicle to join the ranks of the city’s renowned yellow taxi service on the streets of New York City.
Gravity, a venture focusing on EV fleets and charging stations is operating the Mustang Mach-E, which has a fresh coat of Rally Yellow paint and iconic taxi symbols. Ford’s new mass-market EV is being used as a taxi for the first time. But it won’t be the last – Gravity plans to run a fleet of 50 electric cars, including Mustang Mach-Es and Tesla Model Ys, in the future.
“I think the Mustang and the Model Y are kind of like the ideal taxi vehicles that are available today,” Moshe Cohen, founder and CEO of Gravity, told The Verge.
Gravity has installed an “artificial intelligence camera” that tracks the driver’s face to prevent distraction. The company is also tracking the vehicle’s speed and other driving maneuvers to ensure drivers are operating safely.Moshe Cohen, founder & CEO of Gravity
Gravity takes a different approach, putting its cars into the city’s regulated fleet of yellow taxis. The cars have been approved for use as taxis as part of the TLC’s EV trial program, which was launched earlier this year.
However, in order to do so, Gravity will need to lease a taxi medallion, which is a city-issued authorization that allows people to own and operate cabs. The firm is licenced as a taxi agency, which means it may lease medallions. The Mustang Mach-E has received TLC permissions and inspections, but Cohen stated that there would most certainly be additional features that will require future approval.
In New York City, EV charging infrastructure might be difficult to come by, but Gravity maintains its own charging station out of a parking garage in Midtown Manhattan. Cohen stated that the business intends to install more chargers in the future, including fast-chargers capable of rates of up to 350 kW.
More taxi companies in the United States are incorporating EVs into their fleets, owing to the cost savings and marketing opportunities. Rental vehicle firms are also getting in on the action, with Hertz making a 100,000-car order with Tesla recently. (When the order was announced, shares in both firms skyrocketed, sending Tesla’s capitalization beyond $1 trillion for the first time.)