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12 19 May / Mei 2011 Motoring

Bespoke taxis for Big Apple Oil Prices may lower


NISSAN has won an exclusive contract to build the next
generation of yellow taxi cabs for New York City, in a 10 year deal
estimated to be worth $1-billion.
SA speed limits
The new cabs will be a big change to the existing models, with charging SOUTH African motorists, many of whom
already feel like revenue-creating
stations for passengers’ mobile phones and laptops and a transparent scapegoats every time they exceed the
roof for sightseeing, as well as passenger airbags. The new taxis will speed limit, might have to contend with
come fitted with GPS devices, too - a useful addition in a city in which even lower speed limits in future - in the
interests of saving fuel, according to
cabbies often appear flummoxed by destination requests as simple as government.
“Wall Street, please”. Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York, Energy Minister Dipuo Peters has requested
announced the contract recently, at the end of an intense round of an investigation into the possibility of reducing
speed limits as one of the ways of increasing
bidding in which Nissan beat Ford and Karsan - a Turkish car maker. fuel efficiency while prices escalate. “I have process and as such its absence in the market
He wanted taxis that could “expand and redefine the legendary image instructed my team to determine the level at adds to the complexity in crude oil refinery
of New York City cabs” he said. The Nissan Nv200 will replace the 16 which a reduction of the speed limit may be diets. “Secondly the speculators in the market
necessary. This will include consultation and do take advantage of prevailing challenges
models authorised by the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission, concurrence of the Department of Transport,” and add a premium of their own. “The third is a
the most common being the Ford Crown Victoria, none of which were she was quoted saying in a statement from more worrying reason and one that leaves us
designed to be taxis. The commission said it hoped that people would her office. no option but to implement fuel efficiency
Her spokesman Ndivhuwo Khangale said: measures. This is the demand for crude oil
fall in love with the heir apparent, adding “ For the first time we’ll have a “Nothing concrete has been finalised,” of the which has just about reached levels last seen
taxi cab that isn’t off the rack but rather custom-tailored.” - The Times, idea that evokes memories of the rationing of in 2008 and is rising.”
London. the 1970s when anti-apartheid sanctions Production facilities may find it difficult to keep
limited fuel supplies in South Africa. Peters up with the demand and this will inevitably
said last week's increase, which saw fuel result in sustained high prices even when the
prices hover around the R10 a litre mark, had conflicts have relaxed.
the potential of disrupting economic growth in She urged people to consider whether they
the country and could cause major disruptions really need to drive somewhere, or whether
in countries that have not had the currency they can walk and go to work with a lift club.
strength to counter the increases. In the last She questioned speeding away from traffic
two years, crude oil prices have quadrupled lights and recommended not using air
from around US$30 a barrel. “I am concerned conditioning during winter, as this could add
about the impact on the ordinary farmer and eight percent to fuel consumption. South
the impact paraffin price increases have on Africa is not the only country grappling with
the poorest of the poor,” Peters said. fuel prices. Some of the proposals in the UK
Three factors beyond the government's include fuel duty stabilisers and the granting
control influence prices, she explained. of energy credits which can be used on
“Whilst the loss of Libya's volumes of crude oil vehicles or in the home. Peters claimed that
supply has been made up by others, the South Africa's fuel taxes are already relatively
quality of Libyan crude is of such a nature that low and among the lowest in the G20.
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