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Looking at the average vehicle prices, a base line Toyota Prius costs $27,800(1) compared to an ordinary Calgarian taxi such as a Chevrolet Impala, which starts at $27,320(2). There is really no difference in price.
The clear defining factor is the litres per kilometer specifications and over all greenhouse gas emissions. The Toyota Prius boasts an impressive 3.8 litres per 100 kilometers while the Chevrolet Impala runs with an average 10.8 litres per 100 kilometers. Now I personally do not have a vendetta against the North American auto manufacturers, nor do I have an extreme affection for import automobiles. The simple truth is that cabs are on the road or idling constantly. Any trip to the airport during colder months, which in Calgary is eight months of the year, will find hundreds of cabs idling.
Clean Air Cabs, of Ahwatukee Arizona, has a fleet of 26 Prius cabs(3). With their small fleet, they claim to have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 1800 tonnes, as compared to traditional cabs. If 26 cabs were able to make such an impact, what would be the reduction in emissions if even one Calgary cab company were to fully adopt hybrid vehicles?
So with this all considered the questions that I have for Calgary are:
Is the reason that Green Cabs have not caught on in Calgary is because of our oil driven economy?
How come smaller cities such as Victoria have already implemented these plans?
Shouldn’t this issue impact the Calgary Airport Authority’s decision on which taxi company gets the airport contract?
Let me know what you think!
(1) Unknown. (2010). Toyota prius. Retrieved from http://tinyurl.com/26al5p3
(2) Unknown. (2008, November 24). 2009 Chevrolet Impala Buyer's Guide. Retrieved from http://www.carpages.ca/article/2008/11/24/2009-chevrolet-impala-buyer-s-guide
(3) Unknown. (2009). Clean air cabs. Retrieved from http://www.unep.org/climateneutral/Default.aspx?tabid=940#about