Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has awarded a contract for procuring 554 hybrid taxis, it announced on Saturday.
No details were given about who the contract was awarded to and its value.
The hybrid vehicles, which are fitted with a combination of fuel engine and electric motors, currently constitute about 11 per cent of the fleet of the Dubai Taxi Corporation (DTC).
By the end of this year, the DTC targets to increase the proportion of hybrid vehicles to 17 per cent of its taxi fleet, which currently comprises 503 vehicles, a statement said.
“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,” said Mattar Al Tayer, director-general and chairman of the RTA.
“RTA is the first government entity in the region to experiment with 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 550,000 kilometres without faults or requiring maintenance of major parts. Fuel efficiency reached 30 per cent and carbon emission dropped by 30 per cent as well,” he said.
The RTA is working on a masterplan that calls for curbing carbon emissions from the taxi sector by 2 per cent as required by the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and the Green Economy initiative, added Al Tayer.
As part of the strategy, the RTA plans to convert 50 per cent of all Dubai taxicabs into hybrid vehicles by 2021.
The plan anticipated a rise in the number of hybrid vehicles in Dubai from 147 vehicles in 2015 to 791 in 2016, and a further jump to 1,582 vehicles by 2017.
It further forecasts the number of hybrid taxis rising to 2,375 vehicles by 2018, 3,167 vehicles by 2019, 3,959 vehicles by 2020, and 4,750 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).