(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) More than 900 electric taxis will take to Abu Dhabi roads by the end of 2018, making Capital's public transport more environment-friendly.
The handing over of the 907 Toyota Camry Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV) to Abu Dhabi's Tawasul Transport by Al Futtaim Toyota was announced at a Press conference on Thursday. The company claims the HEVs are expected to collectively save 47.16 million kg of CO2 over their life cycle.
"The newly launched Camry HEV delivers 70 per cent better fuel efficiency compared to the petrol-engine cars. That means for every litre of petrol, it runs 26km, making it the most durable and effective mobility solutions for taxi operators," said Saud Abbasi, managing director of Al Futtaim Toyota.
The company said the introduction of the hybrid vehicles will accelerate the implementation of the UAE Government's sustainability targets and actively contribute to enhancing the country's clean air index. Tawasul currently has a total of 1,347 taxis in its fleet, and aims to convert its entire fleet to hybrid cars by 2019.
"By the end of 2018, all the 907 hybrid cars will be part of Tawasul, making us Abu Dhabi's largest hybrid fleet operator. By 2019, we will gradually phase out the ordinary taxis that are not environment-friendly," Ghena Jbour, deputy general manager of Tawasul, told Khaleej Times.
Tawasul already operate 55 hybrid cars in Abu Dhabi since 2017 as a testing phase.
According to Al Futtaim, the new car runs for 26km per litre, 9km more compared to 2.5L petrol-engine Camry, and is able to save 52,000kg of CO2 when in operation for around 500,000km.
Jumaa Saeed Al Kaabi, general manager of Tawasul Transportation Company, said: "We, at Tawasul, are committed to providing distinguished transport services through our adherence to 'quality, comfort and safety'. With the addition of our first batch of electrified taxis, we aim to provide more eco-conscious travel solutions that will support the UAE government's green initiatives. This came on the heel of an order of 50 previous generation Camry HEV in 2017, a move that proved to be sensible at all levels, especially from a sustainability perspective."
The hybrid car can be driven either entirely by electrical power with zero-fuel consumption and carbon emissions or with a combination of a petrol engine and two electric motors. The batteries in the hybrid electric drive train are automatically charged by either the petrol engine or when braking and decelerating, eliminating the need to plug in a power cable.
Jbour said drivers are being trained to operate the electric cars for maximum fuel efficiency. "The best fuel efficiency can be achieved if the drivers are familiar with eco-driving and avoid harsh braking and accelerating. "The hybrid vehicles will also have a positive impact on road safety as drivers will have to do smooth driving on hybrid cars," said Jbour.
Anjana Sankar Anjana Sankar is a journalist by profession and a humanist by passion. Her cluttered desk is not indicative of her state of mind.
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