x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

20 hybrid vehicles added to Dubai taxi fleet

The hybrid vehicles by Toyota can run on an electric motor up to a certain speed before switching to its petrol fuel engine.

DUBAI // The city’s taxi corporation has added 20 hybrid vehicles to its fleet, it was announced yesterday.

Dubai Taxi Corporation (DTC) said the Toyota Camry saloon cars run on an electric motor up to a certain speed before switching to its petrol fuel engine.

The taxis look exactly the same as the current red-roofed Camrys but will sport a green leaf logo on the front doors. There will also be no difference in fare.

The Roads and Transport Authority, which operates DTC, assessed the feasibility of hybrids between 2008 to 2011.

“We studied the inclusion of hybrid vehicles to the fleet since 2008, and we believe we have selected the right vehicle for the job,” said Ahmad Al Hammadi, acting chief executive of DTC.

“We will now monitor the performance, emissions and fuel consumption of these vehicles to see if they match our expectation before looking at increasing the number of hybrid vehicles to our fleet.”

The vehicles were tested and ran for more than 550,000km without breakdowns or needing major maintenance. They were also 33 per cent more fuel efficient and the carbon dioxide emissions were 33 per cent less than normal vehicles.

“The amount of carbon dioxide emissions for a regular vehicle [taxi] per day is estimated at 182kg, while the amount of emissions left by hybrid composites per day is 121kg,” said Mr Al Hammadi.

“Hybrids are more expensive than regular vehicles but it is not about that, it is about being environmentally conscious. The environmental benefits far outweigh the initial costs and, in the long run, it will be more cost efficient.”

Toyota has sold more than 5.5 million vehicles globally from its range of 23 hybrids. They are marketed in 80 countries, but a Toyota hybrid is yet to be introduced in the UAE.

malkhan@thenational.ae