Medallion Management, affiliated with Yellow Cab Chicago, has purchased 12 Ford Transit Connect vans that run on natural gas instead of gasoline. In a statement issued by Ford and Taxi Medallion, the companies said the commercial vans are expected to help the cab company reach its goal of cutting total emissions by 25%.
The Ford Transit Connect typically is used as a delivery van, but second-row seats can be added. According to the announcement, the natural gas-powered vans achieve some 23 mpg in combined city-highway driving-- 21% better than a conventional taxi cab such as the Ford Crown Victoria sedan.
"We are adding vehicles with more fuel-efficient gasoline engines, as well as vehicles with alternative-fuel sources, to find a vehicle mix that best suits our customers, our drivers, the city at large and the environment," said Michael Levine, the cab company's CEO.
The natural gas-powered Ford Transit Connects are scheduled to be delivered in March.