In 2011, the City of Chicago's Departments of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) implemented the successful Green Taxi Incremental Cost Allowance Program (“Green Taxi Program”). Due to this effort, 120 new vehicles were put on the road as taxis, including 49 new hybrids and 71 compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles.
The program helped the taxi industry purchase cost-effective hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles, which moved the City closer to reaching carbon emission goals as set out in the Chicago Climate Action Plan, and provided passengers with trips in modern and environmentally sustainable vehicles.
In July of 2011, BACP hosted a “Green Taxi Expo,” bringing together car manufacturers, alternative fuel converters, and grant fund managers. The Expo was open to the public vehicle industry, allowing vehicle purchasers to have all of their questions answered in one place. See below for a picture of the vehicle demos.
The Green Taxi Program was funded by a federal grant. The City received a Clean Cities grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds. The Green Taxi Program used $1,000,000 in funding from this grant to reimburse up to a set amount of the cost of certain hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles. This was a first-come, first-served selection process for funding. The deadline was December 31, 2011, and all funds were dedicated by that date.
Hybrids were reimbursed for $2,000, which was the maximum allowed by the federal government under the grant. CNG or propane powered vehicles were reimbursed for up to 100% of the implemental cost, which is typically between $9,000 and $14,000. Electric vehicles did not qualified under this program.
The Green Taxi Program is an opportunity for the City to reach a goal of increasing the number of hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles and an opportunity to make it more affordable for owners to purchasing a hybrid or alternative fuel vehicle. The benefit to drivers will be felt at the pump.
Please check back with BACP for any future cost reimbursement programs.