Dubai’s Roads and Transports Authority (RTA) is trialling the region’s first hydrogen-powered electric vehicles, according to the Dubai Media Office.
The Toyota Mirai will be put to the test as part of Dubai’s taxi fleet, in collaboration with Al Futtaim Motors, making Dubai Taxi Corporation the first taxi operator in the Middle East to deploy a hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle in its fleet.
Mattar Al Tayer, director general and chairman of the board of executive directors of the RTA, launched the trial run of the vehicle, which has zero emissions – only water emissions – is noiseless, and can travel 500km on a full tank.
“RTA attaches paramount importance to protecting the environment and saving power consumption, and Safety and Environmental Sustainability is a strategic goal of RTA,” said Al Tayer.
“This experiment is in line with the nation-wide initiative launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in 2012 themed: ‘Green Economy for Sustainable Development.’ It also resonates the energy and low carbon strategy of the Dubai Government aimed at making Dubai a role model in the efficient power consumption, and low carbon emission.
“It is also in the context of RTA’s compliance with the master plan for reducing carbon emissions of taxis by 2 per cent as stipulated by the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, and the Green Economy drive,” he added.
The director general also announced that the trial run will make up part of RTA’s limousine service at Dubai International Airport “to assess the economic feasibility and environmental benefits of its operation besides verifying the efficiency of the engine, maintenance cost and other parameters”.
Between 2008 and 2011, the RTA was the first entity in the region to trial fuel and electricity hybrid vehicles as part of its fleet.
Al Tayer said: “Results have proved the economic and environmental feasibility of the experiment by saving fuel consumption by 30 per cent and reducing carbon emission by 30 per cent as well.
“RTA announced a plan to convert 50 per cent of Dubai Taxicabs into hybrid vehicles by 2021. The Plan involves raising the number of hybrid taxis in Dubai from 791 cabs in 2016 to 4,750 cabs in 2021. The Dubai Taxi Corporation accounts for the largest share of hybrid vehicles – 2,280 vehicles – and the number of hybrid vehicles currently accounts for 20 per cent of the fleet.” –ME website