Published on December 27th, 2017 | by Steve Hanley0
Dubai To Launch Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell Taxi Service
December 27th, 2017 by Steve Hanley
The Dubai Taxi Company, a subsidiary of Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority, has added a Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell car to its fleet. The Mirai has a range of about 300 miles on a single tank of compressed hydrogen. Refueling takes only a matter of minutes, which is an advantage over most electric cars in use today, which can require up to several hours to recharge. The Mirai has no emissions other than water vapor and heat, but the hydrogen likely comes from reformed natural gas.
“RTA attaches paramount importance to protecting the environment and saving power consumption, and environmental sustainability is a strategic goal of RTA. This experiment is part of Dubai’s low carbon strategy aimed at making Dubai a role model in efficient power consumption and low carbon emission,” Mattar Al Tayer, director general of RTA’s board, tells Gulf News. “RTA will start a trial run of the vehicle as part of its limousine service in the 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,” he says.
Dubai Taxi Company began switching to low emissions cars in 2008, starting with Toyota Prius hybrids. Today, there are about 800 hybrid taxis in and around the city. “Results of our trials with hybrid vehicles 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,” said Al Tayer. The goal is for half the local taxi fleet — about 4750 cars — to be low- or zero-emissions vehicles by 2021.
The new Toyota Mirai will be refueled at a hydrogen station installed by Air Liquide at Al Futtaim Motors in Dubai Festival City recently. “The opening of the station will facilitate the use of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles at a larger scale,” says Saud Abbasi, managing director of Toyota sales at Al Futtaim Motors. The hydrogen powered Toyota Mirai will be part of a trial run, as the RTA continues to look for alternate fuel options as part of its sustainable transport strategy. Dubai Taxi Company is the first taxi service to offer rides in a fuel cell powered car in the region.