x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 25 November 2017

More than 1,000 hybrid taxis on Dubai streets

Al Futtaim delivered more Camry hybrid cars to Dubai Taxi, helping double Dubai Taxi’s current fleet

Dubai Taxi adds more Toyota Camry hybrid cars to its fleet, doubling its total to more than 1,000 eco-friendly cars. Courtesy of Al Futtaim Motors
Dubai Taxi adds more Toyota Camry hybrid cars to its fleet, doubling its total to more than 1,000 eco-friendly cars. Courtesy of Al Futtaim Motors

Dubai Taxi has added more Toyota Camry hybrid cars, more than doubling its current fleet of 500.

UAE Toyota distributor, Al Futtaim, said on Sunday that it had handed over 554 of the vehicles to the Road and Transport Authority’s taxi body, adding to the current fleet of 503.

“As we aim to provide more eco-conscious travel solutions that will support the UAE government’s green initiatives, our goal is to continue enhancing our service offerings to customers,” said Yousef Al Ali, chief executive of Dubai Taxi. “This new fleet will play a vital role in supporting DTC’s vision of converting 50 per cent of the Dubai Taxi fleet to hybrid by 2021.”

Al Futtaim has supplied all the hybrids in Dubai’s taxi fleet and more than 85 per cent of the petrol-fuelled taxis, said Saud Abbasi, managing director of Toyota at Al Futtaim Motors. He said this latest cluster would reduce fuel consumption by 33 per cent.

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While the company’s detail these cars as being “electric hybrid”, it is important to note that the vehicles do not have the ability to be charged at any of the electric vehicle (EV) charging stations around the emirate. The battery is actually charged via the petrol.

The current Toyota Camry hybrid comes equipped with a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine paired with an electrical motor. In 2009, the Japanese car-maker issued a paper describing how its hybrid Camry functioned, saying that pure EVs had struggled through the same problems for the past century: driving distance.

“While a car with a gasoline engine can be completely refueled in a few minutes, literally hours are required to charge up an electric car. And while the gasoline vehicle runs just as well on the last drop of fuel as on the first, the further an electric car goes, the more its performance drops—because the battery is discharging—so the last of its ‘range’ is at a pace that becomes increasingly slow,” Toyota’s report said.

The company said in the report that EVs didn’t have all that they needed, though that is being challenged as more automotive manufacturers are coming to the forefront to introduce more models as well as a larger range.