Half of Dubai cabs to go hybrid by 2021
A hybrid taxi in Dubai. (Pinterest)
By 2021, half of the cabs on the roads of Dubai will be hybrid cars, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has announced.
The move, part of a plan to reduce carbon emissions of the taxi sector by two per cent, is prompted by the deregulation of fuel prices, and the cost-effective hybrid (fuel-electric) vehicles.
Unveiling the plan, Mattar Al Tayer, director-general and chairman of the board of executive directors of Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), said that 791 taxis will be added to the fleet of hybrid taxis this year.
The hybrid taxi fleet was beefed up last year after 147 hybrid taxis were added to the existing cars.
Al Tayer added that the number of hybrid taxis will rise to 1,582 by 2017, and to 2,375, 3,959 and 4,750 in the following three years, respectively.
"The RTA is working to bring about this shift in the infrastructure of mass transit systems to make them environment-friendly, and capable of accommodating the rising demand for transit means in the emirate," Al Tayer said.
"(The) results of the trial operation of hybrid taxis conducted by Dubai Taxi Corporation since 2008 indicated that they offer an environmental solution for reducing carbon emissions by 34 per cent, slashing fuel consumption by 33 per cent, besides cutting maintenance costs due to the low mechanical faults, and curbing noise levels," explained Al Tayer.
For instance, while the normal vehicle requires about 12.5 litres to travel 100km, the hybrid vehicles needs about 8.25 litres to travel the same distance.
The amount of carbon emission generated by the normal vehicle is estimated as 182kg per day, whereas the hybrid vehicle generates about 121kg of carbon emissions per day only.
"The RTA attaches paramount attention to environmental conservation and optimising power consumption. At the top of these projects comes the Dubai Metro, which had been manufactured using state-of-the-art technologies to make it environment-friendly," said Al Tayer.
The RTA is the first entity in the region to take the initiative of experimenting the operation of hybrid (fuel-electric) vehicles as part of the taxi fleet in 2008. Hybrid taxis was launched by the RTA for the first time in 2013, plying 20 Toyota Camry Hybrid taxicabs on the roads.
Studies showed that replacing all taxicabs in Dubai by hybrid cabs would reduce carbon emissions by 230,000 tonnes per annum, which translates into saving about Dhs170 million.
As for marine transit modes, the RTA has launched the operation of CNG-powered abras instead of diesel-powered ones to live up to its commitment of improving the marine transit service between the two shores of the Dubai Creek.
In 2013, the RTA deployed seven electric-powered abras fitted with electric motors instead of the traditional diesel motors, and the project was broadened to include 17 abras.
"As for lighting, the RTA started upgrading the efficiency of street lights by introducing power-saving lights using LED lighting technology in a bid to reduce electric power consumption in this field, and accordingly reduce carbon emissions," said Al Tayer.
The project resulted in reducing carbon footprint by more than 3,000 tonnes per annum.
The Dubai Taxi Corporation will account for lion's share of these hybrid taxicabs in as much as 2,280 cabs, followed by Cars Taxi (900 cabs), National Taxi (812 cabs), Arabia Taxi (463 cabs), Metro Taxi (377 cabs), and City Taxi (18 cabs).
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