The Tesla Model 3 is the first electric vehicle approved as a yellow cab in New York City, and the first one has hit the road.

In October 2019, Electrek was first to report that the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC), which oversees the city’s fleet of yellow cabs, has approved the Tesla Model 3 as the first electric vehicle to be eligible to become a yellow cab in New York City.

A full year later, we now learned that the first Tesla Model 3 yellow cabs are hitting the roads in New York — kickstarting the electrification of the iconic fleet of more than 13,000 taxis in the city.

Electrek reader Albert Lee spotted a Tesla Model 3 with the official NYC taxi livery in Manhattan near Tesla’s store and shared a picture of the electric car:

As we previously reported, Tesla’s vehicles are becoming particularly popular with taxis in Europe, including in markets like the Netherlands, where a fleet of over 100 Tesla vehicles has been operating as taxis out of the Amsterdam airport since back in 2014.

In North America, electric vehicles haven’t been as popular for use as taxis, but it is catching up.

We previously covered the very first Tesla Taxi driver in North America when his Model S hit 100,000 miles back in 2017.

More taxi drivers and companies are now, like New York’s yellow cabs, looking at Model 3 because the economics make a lot of sense.

Last year, we reported on Columbus Yellow Cab announcing that it bought 10 Tesla Model 3 vehicles in order to accelerate the electrification of its fleet of 170 taxis.

We also heard of a fleet of 40 Tesla Model 3s in Madison becoming the first all-electric taxi service in the US.

Electrek’s Take

More people are starting to run the numbers and realizing that after fuel and maintenance savings, electric vehicles can pay for themselves when they are used in applications that result in higher mileage.

Police departments are starting to buy a lot of Tesla Model 3 vehicles for the same reasons.

I think it’s a trend that we are going to see accelerate in 2021.

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