Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi now has a number of clean energy taxis running on its roads, including a certain number of Tesla electric vehicles, the Abu Dhabi transport sector regulator announced on Thursday (March 9).
The Integrated Transportation Center (ITC) of the Ministry of Municipalities and Transport has partnered with taxi franchisee Arabia Taxi Transportation to launch the premium vehicles. The move is in line with the public transport regulator’s aim to improve the environmental sustainability of its taxi fleet and ensure clean, green transport in the emirate.
ITC Director General Abdullah Al Marzouqi said the introduction of Tesla vehicles in the taxi fleet is in line with ITC’s strategic plan to support the UAE’s Sustainable Development Goals. The new taxis then contribute directly to the UAE’s ambitious vision for its sustainable green economy, including its goal to reduce carbon emissions across sectors. These taxis also make Abu Dhabi an outstanding example of a sustainable and environmentally friendly transport system that contributes to improving the overall quality of life.
Shaikh Sultan Al Qasimi, managing director of Arabia Taxi Transportation, confirmed the launch of the Tesla electric vehicle.
“There is no doubt that this initiative will appeal to the public of taxi users in Abu Dhabi, especially as it will help improve service quality, increase their satisfaction and bring high happiness to passengers,” added Al Qasimi .
Tesla in the UAE
The addition of Tesla vehicles to the Abu Dhabi taxi fleet follows initiatives in other emirates to make the public transport sector more sustainable. Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority announced last year that it had added Tesla Model 3 sedans to its fleet. Sharjah’s Roads and Transport Authority also added 10 of the same vehicles to its 3,700-vehicle fleet earlier this month.
Abu Dhabi’s taxi fleet consists of more than 6,000 vehicles and is operated by seven taxi franchisees, including Arabia Taxi. The fleet is regulated by the ITC, which has recently launched several programs to reduce the industry’s carbon emissions. In fact, since 2019, more than 85 percent of the fleet has been hybrids — a mix of natural gas and hydrocarbon fuels.
Most recently, ITC launched driverless electric vehicles in November 2021 in partnership with Bayanat, a subsidiary of G42 Holdings. Following a successful pilot, eight of the TXAI vehicles became a permanent feature of Yas Island and Saadiyat Island’s public transport options, along with four mini robot buses. These clean modes of transport are particularly popular with visitors to the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Grand Prix in November 2022.
ITC is also currently organizing a series of workshops, events and interactive sessions across Abu Dhabi to increase community engagement. Among the events, which included workshops for students and a bicycle race on Hudayriat Island, authorities also highlighted environmentally friendly transport options and practices to residents.