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Dubai starts trial run of first hydrogen fuel-cell e-vehicle

Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said it has launched the trial run of the first electric hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicle, Toyota Mirai, in collaboration with Al Futtaim Motors.

Being inducted into the Dubai Taxi fleet, the new hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle has only water emissions. It is noiseless and can travel 500 km on a full tank, and refilling it takes not more than five minutes.

The emission-free Toyota Mirai is powered by hydrogen, which generates electricity inside the engine after being mixed with oxygen supplied through the grill intake at the front of the vehicle.

The vehicle is characterised by high-level driving convenience and uses Toyota Fuel Cell System (TFCS), that combines the fuel-cell technology and the hybrid technology. It contains a fuel-cell stack and a high-pressure hydrogen tank.

"RTA attaches paramount importance to protecting the environment and saving power consumption, and safety and environmental sustainability is its strategic goal," remarked Mattar Al Tayer, the director-general and chairman of the board of executive directors.

"We have announced a plan to convert 50 per cent of Dubai Taxicabs into hybrid vehicles by 2021," he noted.

"The plan involves raising the number of hybrid taxis in Dubai from 791 in 2016 to 4,750 in 2021. The Dubai Taxi Corporation accounts for the largest share of hybrid vehicles (2,280 vehicles), and the number of hybrid vehicles currently accounts for 20 per cent of the fleet," he added.

Expressing his delight at the DTC becoming the first taxi operator in the Middle East to deploy a hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicle (Mirai) in its fleet, Al Tayer said: "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."

According to him, RTA was the first entity in the region to start the trial run of hybrid (fuel and electricity) vehicles as part of its taxi fleet from 2008 to 2011.

"Results 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," he added.

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