A Chicago taxicab company will soon begin using a dozen Ford Transit Connect vans that run on natural gas instead of petroleum.
Taxi Medallion Management, which is affiliated with Yellow Cab Chicago, bought the small commercial vans as part of its goal to cut its total emissions by 25 percent, Ford and the cab company said in a statement issued Friday. They're due to be delivered in March.
Natural gas is less expensive than gasoline and burns cleaner, giving off up to 90 percent fewer smog-producing pollutants, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It also produces 30 percent to 40 percent less greenhouse gas emissions, the EPA's website said. Almost 90 percent of it is produced in the U.S.
"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," Michael Levine, the cab company's CEO, said in the statement.
The Transit Connect normally is used as a delivery van, but second-row seats can be added. The Transit Connect gets 23 mpg in combined city-highway driving, 21 percent better than a conventional cab like the Ford Crown Victoria sedan.