"If you see a taxi in Dubai with a green leaf on the drivers' door, take it!" said Ahmed Mohammad Al Hammadi, Acting CEO of Dubai Taxi Corporation (DTC) at the presentation of the first hybrid taxi in the region.
DTC is introducing 20 environmental-friendly Toyota Camry hybrid vehicles to the fleet this year.
The hybrid taxi will have the same taxi fare, serve the same customers, drive at the same speed and look the same as any other taxi, with only the green leave saying 'hybrid taxi' as an extra feature.
However, from the inside the hybrid taxi is nothing like the regular one. Consuming 33 per cent less fuel and with 33 per cent lower carbon dioxide emission, the vehicle is a true green car.
A trip of 100 kilometers would consume 8.25 liters of fuel for the hybrid car, while a regular Dubai taxi would consume 12 liters of fuel for the same distance, explained Ahmed Bahroozian, CEO of Licensing and Chairperson of DTC Supervisory Committee.
Further, a hybrid taxi would release 121 kg in carbon dioxide emissions over such a distance, while a regular taxi would release 182 kg over the some distance.
The vehicles have been purchased by the Road and Transport Authority (RTA) from Al Futtaim Motors Company as part of a comprehensive plan to reduce pollution caused by vehicles emissions and making them environmentally friendly in Dubai.
This year is just an experiment, and the 20 vehicles will be studied to see the impact they will have, explained Al Hammadi.
"These cars have a lifetime of 3-4 years according to the Traffic and Road Authority (TRA). For this period we will study the vehicles, and then see which steps we can take next.
"Off course the hybrid vehicle does not come at the same price as a normal car. They are more expensive," added Al Hammadi.
"However, the environment is worth more to us than the cost of vehicles. The RTA makes unremitting efforts to bring about a shift in the infrastructure systems of mass transit so that they are environment- friendly, and meet the increasing demand for transportation in the emirate as the aim of the operation of hybrid vehicles is to consolidate the initiative of the Dubai government's efforts to put green vehicles for a cleaner environment, and to assess the feasibility of the use of hybrid vehicles in the taxis' fleet.”
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