If you happen to be in Sydney, you might just get the opportunity to get a free taxi ride – in a Lexus hybrid EcoTaxi. No, it isn’t a joke or a scam; rather, it is a sign of protest by the owner of the cab company, who claims to be Sydney’s first and only luxury hybrid taxi service, but was denied a license by the local government.

Trials on the service started three weeks ago. The EcoTaxi service is a fleet of 10 Lexus RX400 hybrid SUVs. These vehicles are fitted with a v6 diesel engine and two electric motors and would operate under 50km per hour, which would be standard speed for a taxi here in Sydney. The vehicle, while in the city, would produce almost no emissions. Amongst the users of the service? Cate Blanchett.

So why was he denied the license? Well apparently the Lexus RX400 is too short. Eight centimeters too short, to be precise. Seems like an odd misplacement of priorities, in our opinion. And it isn’t just us, in fact, regulations stating that vehicles such as the Lexus RX400 be accepted as taxi vehicles has been introduced… but in another state.

+ EcoTaxi
+ EcoTaxi hits the skids