Ninety percent of limousines in Dubai will be environmentally friendly vehicles by 2026.
According to the plan from the Roads and Transport Authority, 65 percent of the emirate’s limousine fleet, which includes private taxis such as Careem and Uber, will be hybrid vehicles and 25 percent electric vehicles.
The green fleet currently stands at just 6 percent. This is to rise to 10 percent by 2020, and double up to 20 percent in 2021. The proportion of environmental-friendly vehicles will pick up to 30 percent by 2022, and the momentum will continue annually afterwards to reach 40 percent in 2023, 55 percent in 2024, 70 percent in 2025 until hitting the targeted rate of 90 percent in 2026.
The vast majority of private taxis are large Lexus ES, LS saloons and seven-seaters. These are often owned by companies, while drivers are employed as subcontractors for Uber and Careem.
Mattar Al Tayer, director-general and chairman of the board of executive directors at the RTA, said: “About 6,500 limos are operated in Dubai by 100 companies or more. Each vehicle travels about 400km per day, which translates into the production of 44 tons of carbon emissions per annum.
“RTA studies on the use of electric/hybrid vehicles showed that financial savings of using electric vehicles amount to $5,445 (AED20,000) over the life cycle of each vehicle. Hybrid vehicles make a saving of $8,167 (AED30,000). From an environmental perspective, electric vehicles do not have any harmful emissions, while the use of hybrid vehicles cuts emissions by 40 percent.”
In giving its support to green mobility, RTA is offering a 25 percent discount on the monthly franchise fees on electric vehicles throughout the first year. It will also give permission for electric vehicles to use bus-dedicated lanes.
In 2017, Dubai Taxi Corporation partnered with ride hailing app Uber, which became the exclusive operator of its fleet of 50 Tesla electric vehicles.
The fleet is made up of turquoise, Model S Tesla cars and fares are priced in line with the Careem Business rates, with a starting minimum fare of AED60.
RTA has endorsed a plan to transform 50 percent of Dubai’s taxi fleet into hybrid vehicles by 2021, taking the number of hybrid taxis from 791 vehicles in 2016 to 4,750. Dubai Taxi Corporation currently operates 2,280 of these vehicles, which makes up 28 percent of the total taxi fleet in Dubai.
A feasibility study into using hybrid/electric vehicles in the taxi fleet, from 2008 to 2011, showed a 30 percent saving on fuel and 30 percent reduction in carbon emissions.