Dubai: Dubai’s fleet of Tesla luxury cabs have proven to be a huge hit among commuters, clocking 2.1 million kilometres since its launch last year.
According to the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), 75 more Model S sedans and Model X SUVs by Tesla will join the existing fleet of 50 that began operation in September last year.
Operating alongside around 5,000 other luxury cabs or limousines, the Tesla cabs have so far made 64,186 trips with a customer satisfaction rate of 97 per cent.
The electric vehicles with semi-autonomous features are part of RTA’s drive towards using sustainable transit means, which also includes more than 700 hybrid taxis operating in Dubai.
RTA aims to replace half of Dubai’s fleet of 10,000 taxis and 5,000 luxury cabs by energy-efficient vehicles by 2021.
“We have 50 Tesla electric vehicles on the roads, and the demand is still on the rise for such luxury vehicles. We will beef up the fleet to 125 electric vehicles this year, and we have 13 charging stations across Dubai,” said Adel Ahmad Sharif, director of Fleet Operations at Dubai Taxi Corporation (DTC), which operates the Tesla fleet.
The RTA signed agreement with Tesla in February 2017 to procure 200 vehicles for its luxury fleet and the first batch of these were rolled out last September, with another 75 set to hit the roads this year, while the rest will join the fleet next year.
Initially launched to operate only from the Dubai International Airport, the luxury cabs can now be booked for a regular trip through the Uber App, email booking (BOOK.email@example.com), or via the taxi booking call centre of DTC (80088088).
Tesla electric vehicles are known for their iconic falcon wing doors, a panoramic windshield and seven-seat configuration, offering unprecedented convenience and manoeuvrability.
“The launch of Tesla electric cars is part of Dubai’s push towards the Green Economy for Sustainable Development Initiative, saving about Dh4.3 million of fuel consumption,” added Sharif.
With several self-driving components, the launch of Tesla vehicles is a mini step in realising Dubai’s declared target of converting 25 per cent of the city’s trips into driverless journeys by 2030.
“Both S and X models benefit from free over-the-air software updates. More features will be added to these vehicles with time. Tesla has designed a unique package of power-generating and storage products including Powerwall and Powerpack Batteries. All these components will have a positive impact on electric vehicles, renewable energy and batteries,” he said.
He added that the DTC has hand-picked some of its best drivers to operate the Tesla fleet to raise the bar of service offered through these vehicles.