Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi now has a number of clean energy taxis plying its roads, including a certain number of Tesla electric vehicles, the emirate’s transport sector regulator announced on Thursday (March 9).
The Integrated Transport Centre (ITC) of the Department of Municipalities and Transport launched the premium vehicles in cooperation with taxi franchisee Arabia Taxi Transportation. The move aligns with the public transport regulator’s aims to increase the environmental sustainability of its taxi fleet, and to ensure clean, green transport in the emirate.
Abdullah Al Marzouqi, ITC director general, said that the introduction of the Tesla vehicles within the taxi fleet comes within the ITC’s strategic plans to support the sustainable development goals in the emirate. Then new taxis directly contribute to the emirate’s ambitious vision and its Green Economy for Sustainable Development, including its targets to reduce carbon emissions from various sectors. The taxis also set up Abu Dhabi as a distinguished model for a sustainable and environmentally friendly transport system that helps improve the overall quality of life.
Shaikh Sultan Al Qasimi, managing director of Arabia Taxi Transportation, confirmed that the launch of the Tesla electric vehicles.
“There is no doubt that this step will appeal to the public among taxi users in Abu Dhabi, especially as it contributes to improving the quality of service, enhances their satisfaction, and achieves high indicators of happiness for passengers,” Al Qasimi added.
Teslas in the UAE
The addition of Tesla vehicles to the Abu Dhabi taxi fleet follows initiatives in other emirates to enhance the sustainability of the public transport sector. Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority last year announced the addition of Tesla Model 3 saloons to its fleet. Earlier this month, Sharjah’s Road and Transport Authority also added 10 of the same vehicles to its 3,700-strong fleet.
Abu Dhabi’s taxi fleet of more than 6,000 vehicles is operated by seven taxi franchisees, including Arabia Taxi. The fleet is regulated by the ITC, which has recently rolled out multiple plans to reduce carbon emissions within the sector. IN fact, over 85 per cent of the fleet has consisted of hybrid vehicles — which run on a mix of natural gas and hydrocarbon fuels — since 2019.
More recently, the ITC has rolled out driverless electric vehicles in cooperation witg G42 holding company subsidiary, Bayanat in November 2021. After a successful pilot, eight of these TXAI vehicles became permanent features of Yas Island and Saadiyat Island’s public transport options, along with four mini Robo buses. These clean transport alternatives were particularly popular among visitors to the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Grand Prix in November 2022.
The ITC is also currently organising a number of workshops, events and interactive sessions across Abu Dhabi to increase community engagement. In these activations, which include workshops for students and a bicycle race on Hudayriat Island, the authority is also highlighting environmentally-friendly transport options and practices to residents.