The Board of Executive Directors of Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), chaired by HE Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA has endorsed a contract for procuring 554 environment-friendly hybrid vehicles.
These vehicles, which are fitted with a combination of fuel engine and electric motors, currently constitute about 11% of the fleet of the Dubai Taxi Corporation (DTC).
The move is part of a masterplan to curb the pollution from vehicle exhausts and make vehicles friendly to the environment of Dubai.
By the end of this year, the DTC targets to beef-up the proportion of hybrid vehicles to 17% of its taxi fleet, which currently comprises 503 vehicles.
“This step has been taken in implementation of the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for adopting power-efficient solutions with a positive bearing on humans and development projects of all sorts.
The directives call for nurturing a safe, clean, attractive and sustainable environment capable of enhancing the image and profile of Dubai.
The step illustrates RTA’s commitment to the Master Plan calling for curbing carbon emissions from the taxi sector by 2% as required by the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and the Green Economy initiative,” said Al Tayer.
“The underlying objective of using hybrid vehicles operation is to support Dubai initiative themed: Green vehicles for a cleaner environment, besides assessing the feasibility of using hybrid vehicles in the Dubai Taxi fleet.
RTA is the first government entity in the region to experiment the operation of hybrid taxicabs fitted with electric-fuel engines in Dubai taxi from 2008 to 2011.
Results of the experiment revealed that such vehicles had covered 550 thousand kilometres without faults or requiring maintenance of major parts. Fuel efficiency reached 30% and carbon emission dropped by 30% as well,” explained Al Tayer.
It is noteworthy that the RTA had endorsed a plan for converting 50% of Dubai taxicabs into hybrid vehicles by 2021. The move is part of a plan to fulfil the requirements of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and the Green Economy drive.
The plan anticipated a rise in the number of hybrid vehicles in Dubai from 147 vehicles in 2015 to 791 in 2016, and further jump to 1582 vehicles by 2017.
It forecasts an increase in the number of hybrid taxis to 2375 vehicles by 2018, then to 3167 vehicles by 2019, and continue to grow to 3959 vehicles by 2020, and rise to as much as 4750 vehicles by 2021.
The DTC is set to have the largest share of hybrid taxis in Dubai totalling 2280 vehicles, followed by CARS (900 vehicles), National Taxi (812 vehicles), Arabia Taxi (463 vehicles), METRO Taxi (377 vehicles), and City Taxi (18 vehicles).