Now that Ford’s Crown Victoria is a thing of the past New York City taxicabs are getting a complete overhaul. That’s right, there’s a new taxi model in town and it’s made by Nissan.

The Nissan NV200 van will begin replacing all existing NYC taxi cabs starting in 2013. The new NV200 vans offer more space; room for four with a higher ceiling and a host of other amenities and safety features including back-up cameras and on-board navigation systems. Each new NV200 also has a mobile charging station for passengers which includes a 12-volt plug and two USB ports.

But that’s not all!

These new NV200 vans are designed with the passengers in mind. More than 600,000 people travel by taxi in NYC every day, so comfort had to be taken into consideration. The NV200 offers independently controlled A/C and heat, sliding doors and, in a nod to the tourism industry, a transparent roof so passengers can gaze up at the skyscrapers. They also offer an interior which brims with special odor neutralizing materials, to avoid that strange smell which often accompanies a taxi ride.

The new NV200 has a retail price of about $29,700. It sports a 2.0 liter four cylinder engine, but Nissan is already experimenting with alternative fuel vehicles. They currently have six Nissan Leaf full electric vehicles which they plan to release for use as taxi’s in New York City to test whether an all-electric taxi fleet would be possible, and they are looking at alternative fuel power train systems for the NV200 vans.

Taxi’s are big business in NYC. They are the simplest way to get from point to point in the city. There is an extensive system of subway trains and public buses which can also get you around the city, but when you need to go direct, most people opt for a taxi cab. That makes the new Nissan deal so valuable and so important to the city.