While in Europe there may be plenty of Tesla cabs, they are still not as popular in this role in the United States.
If you ever travel to the Netherlands and then hail a taxi to take you from the airport into town, then there is a high chance said taxi could be a Tesla (usually an older Model S) - they've been in operation there since 2014. In the United States, however, EV taxis are nowhere near as common (in fact, there are hardly any), and proof of that is this story about New York’s first battery powered yellow cab, which happens to be a Tesla Model 3.
The Model 3 is reportedly currently the only fully-electric vehicle that can be registered and used as a taxi in New York. This may (and probably will) change in the future, but right now it’s either the Model 3 or several hybrid alternatives if you want an electrified ride.
This was first reported on in early November, and back then it was stated that this was indeed NY’s first BEV taxi. Business Insider noted that the car completed over 100 trips in its first full weekend, as well as the fact that it was charged overnight so it wasn’t in service for 24 hours per day (only one out of two shifts); it entered active service on October 30.
And it’s apparently pretty good in this taxi cab role, although one problem was that passengers did have some issues with its door handles which they did not know how to use. This will be addressed with a small ‘ Push Here ‘ sticker on the correct part of the door handle and that it should fix this minor niggle.
Drive Sally, the company that owns this Model 3 cab, says it plans to add hundreds of Model 3s to its NY taxi fleet and that this is a great way for traditional taxis to fight back against increasingly popular ride hailing services. The source article points out that while this Model 3 may be NY’s first EV taxi, other places are more advanced.
For instance, Green Cab operating in Madison, Wisconsin has reportedly swapped out its entire fleet of vehicles for Tesla Model 3s, while Yellow Cab from Columbus, Ohio added 10 to its fleet back in 2019.
What is it like to ride in an all-electric Tesla cab in a big American city? Well, you can check out this video published by YouTuber Sam Sheffer about his experience in New Yorks’s (currently) only electron-sipping taxi.