hybrid taxi dubai

Dubai is implementing some major, revolutionary transportation infrastructure changes in their city, and seem to be ready to start implementing radical new ways of doing things just short of 3D printing their cars. According to the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), half of Dubai’s taxi fleet will be hybrid vehicles by 2021.

Dubai’s current taxi fleet numbers around 150 hybrids, but that number is expected to rise up to 4,750 in the next five years.

The hybrids will be powered by a combination of electricity and petrol and run off of self-charging electric motors when driven within a speed of 40km/h. When it speeds up past that point, the engine will shift back to petrol.

A hybrid taxi will create 30% less carbon emissions.

This move is all part of larger plan to reduce carbon emissions resulting from taxis by 2 percent, according to Matter Al Tayer, director-general and chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA. The Dubai Supreme Council of Energy recently required the decrease.

The decision was also prompted by the low life cycle cost of hybrid vehicles in comparison with normal vehicles, plus the recent deregulation of fuel prices.

hybrid taxi“The plan encompasses beefing up the fleet of hybrid taxicabs in Dubai from 147 in 2015 to 791 in 2016, 1,582 in 2017, 2,375 in 2018, 3,167 in 2019, 3,959 in 2020 and to further increase the number to 4,750 hybrid taxicabs by 2021,” stated Al Tayer.

Most of this fleet will be operated by Dubai Taxi Corporation (DTC), a large subsidiary of RTA that will own over 2,000 cabs. Cars Taxi will own 900 cabs and National Taxi will own 812. Arabia Taxi will have 463 cabs, Metro Taxi will have 377 cabs, and City Taxi will have 18.

“RTA is endeavoring to bring about a quantum shift in the infrastructure of mass transit systems to make them environment-friendly, and accommodate the rising demand for transit means in the emirate,” Al Tayer continued.

RTA was the first company in the Dubai region to attempt to introduce hybrid vehicles into taxi fleets in 2008.

“Results of the trial operation of hybrid taxis conducted by DTC since 2008 indicated that they help reduce carbon emissions by 34 percent, slashing fuel consumption by 33 percent, besides cutting maintenance costs due to the low mechanical faults, and curbing noise levels,” Al Tayer explained.

The RTA has a lot to gain from continuing with this kind of momentum; an RTA study showed that replacing all taxi cabs in Dubai with hybrid cabs would actually reduce carbon emissions by 230,000 tonnes per annum. That means a savings of Dh170 million.

The hybrid taxi initiative is only one part of a multi pronged effort on the part of the RTA to reduce Dubai’s carbon footprint and unnecessary resource use.

rta dubaiLast year, the RTA initiated a trial run of an electric-powered bus that is operated through rechargeable batteries that need less then half an hour to regain fully charged status. A fully charged battery can transport the bus and its passengers up to 200 km.

The RTA has also introduced CNG-powered abras which are slowly phasing out diesel-powered abras on Dubai Creek. LED street lighting is yet another example of their eco-friendly revisions to Dubai infrastructure, reducing the carbon footprint by more than 3,000 tonnes per annum.

According to the RTA, by 2030 they plan to replace all street lights with LED lights, something that would reduce the carbon footprint of the RTA’s operations by 27,000 mega tonnes of carbon.

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