Tesla’s Model 3 is now an approved New York City Taxi vehicle

Many hybrids have served as iconic Yellow Cabs in New York, but a Tesla could be the first fully-electric taxi. James D. Morgan / Getty Images
  • New York City has approved Tesla’sModel 3 as an allowable taxi.
  • It’s the first fully-electric vehicle approved for the iconic fleet, which has a legal limit on how many can operate.
  • The car is also approved for use as a for-hire vehicle, such as Uber or Lyft, though public records show none are registered.
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Tesla’s Model 3 sedan has been approved by New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission as the first all-electric model for use in the iconic fleet.

But with a legal limit on the number of existing medallions, someone would have to purchase the right to operate a taxi before affixing it to their Tesla.

It’s far from the first time the automaker’s vehicles have been used as cabs or ride-hailing vehicles, but it is the first time one may be adorned with the iconic yellow-and-black scheme near synonymous with the city.

A company in Columbus, Ohio, in 2018 bought ten Model 3s for use in its fleet, and the blog Electrek notes a Tesla taxi in Quebec City, Canada, has been operating since 2014, logging more than 100,000 miles in its first two years.

Surprisingly, no Tesla vehicles are registered as for-hire vehicles or cabs in New York City, public records show, despite the Model 3 being an approved model for both Uber and Lyft.

CEO Elon Musk has promised a million-strong network of autonomous robo-taxis by 2020. New York City’s approval could be one small step toward that goal.

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