Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has kickstarted an initiative — said to be the first of its kind in the world — to transform 90% of Dubai’s 6,500-strong limousine fleet into environment-friendly vehicles by 2026, with the seven-year plan set to see 65% of the fleet converted to hybrid, and 25% to electric vehicles.
At least 100 companies operate 6,500 limos in Dubai, and each vehicle travels about 400km per day, which translates into the production of 39.9 tonnes of carbon emissions per annum.
Work on the seven-year plan will begin with raising the ratio of green limos in the market from 6% to 10% within the next year, following which the number will be doubled in 2021, reach 40$ by 2033, 55% by 2024, and 70% by 2025, before reaching the targeted rate of 90% by 2026.
RTA is already working on a plan to transform 50% of Dubai taxi fleet into hybrid vehicles by 2021, with the number of hybrid taxis rising from 791 vehicles in 2016 to 4,750 in 2021.
Dubai Taxi Corporation accounts for the largest share of hybrid vehicles in the city, operating 2,280 hybrid cars, and hybrid vehicles currently account for 28% of Dubai's taxi fleet.
Commenting on the programme, director-general and chairman of RTA’s board of directors, Mattar Al Tayer, said: “This initiative is implemented under the directives of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai, to save power consumption in the UAE, which is crucial for environmental sustainability and development projects with its various components.
“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, and 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%.
"In the context of its support to green mobility, RTA is offering a 25% discount on the monthly franchise fees on electric vehicles throughout the first year.
"It will also permit electric vehicles to use bus-dedicated lanes, in addition to increasing electric vehicles life span to two years more than fuel-powered vehicles,” he added, according to Dubai Media Office.