Dubai Taxi launches 20 eco-friendly hybrid cabs
The Dubai Taxi Corporation (DTC) beefed up its support for the green economy by introducing 20 Toyota Camry hybrid taxi units on Tuesday, expected to reduce carbon emissions by 30 per cent and save fuel cost by 30 per cent.
At a Press conference of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) at the Al Wasel Auditorium, Ahmad Mohammed Al Hammadi, Acting CEO of Dubai Taxi, said that hybrid taxis are more expensive than regular units but they will be operated without extra charge on passengers as they will have the same fares, routes, and operation as the other taxis in the fleet. “Hybrid taxis also have the corporate identity of Dubai Taxi’s red roof with the same speed and safety features.”
Carrying a slogan “Leadership for a Better Tomorrow” and the “Hybrid Taxi” green logo that distinguishes them from the other taxi units plying on Dubai roads, the hybrid taxis will be operated with fuel and electricity making it a hybrid.
Al Hammadi said the only difference is its fuel consumption and engine emissions will be continuously monitored. “Hybrid taxis will have a life span of three to four years according to the rules and regulations of RTA. But, we plan to operate further by studying the impact of the 20 vehicles launched. Then based on the results, we will update the board of RTA for the purpose of planning ahead,” he added.
“We are only a government entity with 20 environment-friendly hybrid vehicles in the UAE, but we need to start now. Though the initial cost is big, but the most important is the customer’s satisfaction on those vehicles,” the DTC acting CEO said.
Al Hammadi said that 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. The same aim is for the operation of hybrid vehicles, targeted 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.
The RTA is the first entity in the region with the pilot operation of hybrid vehicles in the fleet of DTC in the period from 2008 until 2011. Results of this experiment showed that the vehicles had been driven for more than 550,000 kilometres without breakdowns or major maintenance of the main parts in the vehicle, and the percentage of rationalisation in the use of fuel reached 33 per cent, and the carbon dioxide emissions percentage lowered by 33 per cent. “For example”, Al Hammadi said, “a regular vehicle needs 12.50 litres to complete 100km, while the hybrid vehicle needs around 8.25 litres to cover the same distance, and estimated the amount of carbon dioxide emissions of the regular vehicle per day to be 182kg, while the amount of emissions left by hybrid composite per day is 121kg.”
The introduction of the hybrid taxis is part of a comprehensive plan to reduce pollution caused by vehicle’s emissions and make them environment friendly in Dubai, within the strategic plan of DTC to achieve the strategic mission, “Safety, Environment Sustainability and Support of Green Economy”.
“This also comes in the context of the commitment of the RTA and DTC together to protect lives and property and the preservation of the environment and natural resources, and improve standards of occupational health and public safety, and the use of techniques to reduce noise levels resulting from means of transportation.”
Yusuf Al Raisi, General Manager of the Government Relations at Al Futtaim, expressed gratefulness to be part of this partnership with DTC in this pilot project. “My company is committed to doing its part in terms of its responsibility towards the environment and the communities in which they operate, in line with the approach of Toyota’s global approach to develop environment-friendly transport solutions over a period of more than 40 years. Toyota has achieved sales that exceeded 5.5 million hybrid vehicles globally, and has a range of 23 different models of hybrid vehicles that are marketed in 80 countries and regions all over the world.”