Dubai plans hybrid taxis to fight pollution

July 29th, 2008 - 7:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Dubai, July 29 (IANS) Hybrid taxis running both on fuel and electricity will soon be cruising in this metropolis. Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has received from a local automobile dealer a fleet of 10 taxis fitted with hybrid engines. “This deal signals RTA’s commitment to protect lives and properties, conserve the environment and natural wealth, and improve levels of occupational health and public safety,” Abdul Aziz Malik, chief executive of the RTA’s Taxi Agency, said in the statement.

Stating that efforts were on to minimise environmental and noise pollution through the use of latest technology, he said: “Through inaugurating these vehicles, which are operated by twin engines using fuel and electrical technology, the RTA is seeking to conserve the environment and apply the principles of sustained development, which can shape the future and welfare of human beings.”

Malik added that this initiative revolved around the concept of applying the currently available modern technology to suppress pollution emanating from vehicle exhausts, improving the quality of fuel used in public transport modes and implementing global standards governing gas emissions from vehicles in Dubai.

According to reports, the 10 new taxis will be run on an experimental basis for six months. If found successful, Dubai’s entire taxi fleet may be replaced with hybrid taxis.

According to the technology being applied, a vehicle initially moves with the help of electricity and then changes over to diesel mode when it crosses the speed of 60 km per hour.

This is the latest in a series of initiatives being taken by Dubai’s transport authorities to reduce pollution.

“RTA submitted draft legislations to the National Transport Authority, which have recently been endorsed by the Ministerial Council for Services,” Malik said in the statement.

The first decision provides for cutting the maximum permissible percentage of vehicle exhausts.

The policy calls for reducing the percentage of carbon monoxide from 4.5 percent to 2.5 percent, and reducing the rate of hydrocarbons from 800 parts per million (ppm) to 300 ppm.

The second decision is related to abolishing registration, or renewal of registration, of light vehicles whose age exceeds 20 years, provided that this period shall be reduced to 15 years as of January 2010.

A ban has also been imposed on the import of used light vehicles whose age exceeds five years as well as used buses and heavy vehicles whose age exceeds seven years.

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