Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General of Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has unveiled a plan to convert 50 per cent of Dubai taxicabs to hybrid vehicles by 2021.
The move is part of a master plan to reduce carbon emissions of the taxi sector by 2 per cent to fulfil the requirements of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, and the Green Economy drive.
The step was prompted by the deregulation of fuel prices, and the low lifecycle cost of hybrid vehicles compared with normal vehicles.
“The plan encompasses beefing up the fleet of hybrid taxicabs in Dubai from 147 in 2015 to 791 taxicabs by 2016, 1582 taxicabs by 2017, 2375 taxicabs by 2018, 3167 taxicabs by 2019, 3959 taxicabs by 2020, and to further increase the number to 4750 hybrid taxicabs by 2021.
“The Dubai Taxi Corporation will account for lion’s share of these hybrid taxicabs in as much as 2280 cabs, followed by Cars Taxi (900 cabs), National Taxi (812 cabs), Arabia Taxi (463 cabs), Metro Taxi (377 cabs), and City Taxi (18 cabs),” explained Al Tayer.
RTA is endeavoring to bring about a quantum 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.
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.
For instance the normal vehicle requires about 12.5 litres to travel 100 km, whereas 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 182 kg per day, whereas the hybrid vehicle generates about 121 kg of carbon emissions per day only.
“Studies showed that replacing all taxicabs in Dubai by hybrid cabs would reduce carbon emissions by 230 thousand tonnes per annum, which translates into saving about Dh170 million,” added Al Tayer.
RTA has started using regenerative braking power of the Dubai Metro to feed the Metro line, and replaced the old public bus fleet by modern buses compatible with Euro 4-5 specifications.
These buses are fitted with a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology, and Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) technology.
It has also started the trial run of the Electric Bus that is operated by electric power only through recharging batteries.
“The battery can be recharged in less than 30 minutes, and the bus can travel up to 200km with a fully charged battery,” states Al Tayer.
As for marine transit modes, 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.
As part of its strategic plan, RTA is planning to replace all street lights with LED lights by 2030, which would reduce the carbon footprint of RTA’s operations by about 27,000 mega tonnes of carbon,” explained RTA’s Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors.