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Hybrid taxis constituted 50% of Dubai Taxi fleet in 2020, says RTA

The total number of hybrid/electric taxis and limousines in Dubai amounted to 4,683 in 2020, according to Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, director-general, chairman of the board of executive directors of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

Of these, 4,510 are hybrid taxis (about 50 percent of the Dubai Taxi fleet), and 173 others are electric/hybrid limos of the Dubai Taxi Corporation.

"The RTA intends to change the entire fleet of Dubai Taxi to eco-friendly (hybrid/electric) vehicles by 2027, a move considered the first of its kind worldwide. The RTA has taken this in line with the initiative of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, themed "Green Economy for Sustainable Development, UAE Vision 2021", and "Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030". It is also part of a master plan to reduce carbon emissions of the taxi and limousine sector by two percent in compliance with the requirements of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy.

"The RTA succeeded in adding 2,434 hybrid vehicles, 170 electric vehicles and three hybrid limousines to the fleet of Dubai Taxi, whereas the number of hybrid taxis operated by franchise companies is 2,076. A six-year plan currently underway seeks to raise the proportion of hybrid taxis in the fleet from the existing 50 percent to 80 percent by 2025 and achieve the ultimate target of 100 percent by 2027," Al Tayer commented.

"The RTA was the first entity in the region that had rolled out the trial run of hybrid vehicles powered by fuel and electricity and deployed them at the Dubai Taxi fleet during the period 2008-2012 as part of a full lifecycle of vehicles subjected to the experiment. Results showed that vehicles covered more than 550,000 kilometres without sustaining major defects or requiring major maintenance of the main parts of the vehicle.

"Consequently, saving in fuel consumption amounted to 34 percent, and carbon emissions were reduced by 34 percent. In 2017, RTA deployed Tesla electric vehicles featuring several components of self-driving technologies and operated them as part of the Dubai Taxi limo fleet. In December 2019, RTA launched the trial run of the first hydrogen-powered taxi in the Middle East as part of the limousine service at the Dubai International Airport. Ever since, RTA has been assessing the economic and environmental feasibility, engine efficiency, maintenance costs and other operational elements of these vehicles," Al Tayer said.