New York unveiled plans Wednesday to make the city's fleet of 10,000 hired limousines twice as fuel efficient, as part of proposals to reduce carbon emissions and reduce air pollution.
The plans would require the city's so-called black cars to meet fuel efficiency standards of 9.4 liters per 100 kilometers (25 miles per gallon) in 2009 and 7.8 l/100 km (30 mpg) in 2010.
Unveiling the new requirements, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the levels of fuel efficiency required were only achievable using hybrid technology, which mostly involves cars running on a combination of gasoline and battery power.
The city announced last May that its signature yellow taxis would all be running on hybrid engines by 2012.
"Between yellow taxis and black cars, more than 23,000 Taxi and Limousine Commission-regulated cars will be required to be more efficient," Bloomberg said in a statement Wednesday.
"This will allow us to achieve substantial emissions reductions for our city and keep us moving towards our long term goal of creating a truly sustainable city," he added.
Bloomberg last year unveiled an ambitious program to cut the city's greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent before 2030 alongside plans to increase access to parks, reclaim unused industrial land and reduce water pollution.
The initiative that received the most attention was a congestion charge for drivers entering Manhattan, aimed at reducing car use in the city as well as improving air quality. The proposal is still under consideration.