"When I was in the agency, I always struck up conversations with cab drivers," says "TechKnow" contributor Lindsay Moran. On this week's episode, the former CIA officer takes a look inside New York City's pilot program to introduce electric taxicabs in one of the busiest metropolitan areas in the world.
"This car attracts more attention than a Lamborghini or Rolls Royce would," taxi driver Uppkar Thind says of his new Nissan Leaf, one of six the city is test-running with veteran taxi drivers in the one-year pilot program. "People are not usually phased by anything here, but this car surely draws their attention."
Thind has been driving a cab in New York for 17 years and says he prefers the Leaf -- and avoiding the gas station -- to cars he's driven in the past. Plus, there's some novelty appeal.
"I feel like the Justin Bieber of taxi drivers," he jokes.
Taxi cabs alone release 100,000 tons of carbon dioxide into the air every year. Pending the results of the pilot program, New York City plans to replace 5,000 of the taxicabs that line its streets with electric models by the year 2020. Such a move could reduce the city's carbon emissions by an estimated 30,000 tons.