NEW YORK, July 18 (UPI) -- A nationwide shortage of hybrid vehicles is worrying New York City taxi operators and others hoping to switch to more fuel-efficient gas-electric vehicles.
New York's mandated deadline of Oct. 1 for new taxis to get at least 25 miles per gallon of gasoline is fast approaching and auto industry leaders say it may be a tough goal to reach, USA Today reported Friday. About 3,000 New York taxis are replaced each year.
"Consumers have been on waiting lists for months, and even they can't get one," said Jesse Toprak, chief market analyst for the consumer Web site Edmunds.com, describing demand for hybrids throughout the United States. "From the auto manufacturers' viewpoint, they need to balance where the supply goes, because they don't want to irritate the customers who have been waiting for them."
Matthew Daus, commissioner of New York's Taxi and Limousine Commission, said he's still behind his city's commitment to hybrids to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. He predicts other cities including San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Houston, Boston and possibly London will soon do the same.
"This is the right time for cities to be planning ahead to help the environment," he said.