Hybrid taxi
A hybrid taxi Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The total number of hybrid/electric taxis and limousines in Dubai amounts to 4,683, as of 2020. Of them, 4,510 are hybrid taxis (about 50 per cent of the Dubai Taxi Corporation fleet), and 173 others are electric/hybrid limos.

Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, Director-General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA)said: “RTA intends to change the entire fleet of Dubai Taxi to eco-friendly (hybrid/electric) vehicles by 2027; a move considered the first of its kind worldwide. RTA has taken this in line with the initiative of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President, Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai themed Green Economy for Sustainable Development, UAE Vision 2021, and Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030. It is also part of a master plan to reduce carbon emissions of the taxi and limousine sector by two per cent in compliance with the requirements of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy.

“RTA succeeded in adding 2,434 hybrid vehicles, 170 electric vehicles and three hybrid limousines to the fleet of Dubai Taxi, whereas the number of hybrid taxis operated by franchise companies is 2,076 vehicles. A six-year plan currently underway seeks to raise the proportion of hybrid taxis in the fleet from the existing 50 to 80 per cent by 2025 and achieve the ultimate target of 100 per cent by 2027,” commented Al Tayer.

“RTA was the first entity in the region that had rolled out the trial run of hybrid vehicles powered by fuel and electricity and deployed them at the Dubai Taxi fleet during the period 2008-2012 as part of a full lifecycle of vehicles subjected to the experiment. Results showed that vehicles covered more than 550,000 km without sustaining major defects or requiring major maintenance of the main parts of the vehicle.

“Consequently, saving in fuel consumption amounted to 34 per cent, and carbon emissions were reduced by 34 per cent. In 2017, RTA deployed Tesla electric vehicles featuring several components of self-driving technologies and operated them as part of the Dubai Taxi limo fleet. In December 2019, RTA launched the trial run of the first hydrogen-powered taxi in the Middle East as part of the limousine service at the Dubai International Airport. Ever since, RTA has been assessing the economic and environmental feasibility, engine efficiency, maintenance costs and other operational elements of these vehicles,” concluded Al Tayer.