Tesla Model 3 to join Dubai's public taxi fleet

Fully electric vehicles next step as city looks to cut emissions

A 2021 Model 3 sedan pictured in Colorado. Dubai's taxi company will be acquiring more of the vehicles soon. David Zalubowski / AP Photo
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Tesla vehicles will be added to Dubai's publicly-owned taxi fleet as the city looks to gradually phase out petrol vehicles.

The Roads and Transport Authority said it was adding Model 3 saloons to Dubai Taxi Corporation's operations.

It follows a trial run since 2017 in which 172 Model S, X and 3s are used in the RTA's higher-end limo service.

"The success of that experiment prompts us to widen the scope of using electric vehicles as part of the Dubai Taxi fleet over the upcoming years," said Mattar Al Tayer, the authority's director-general.

A statement on Sunday did not give the number of vehicles or list how much the investment was worth. The fleet currently uses Toyota Camry saloons, along with Toyota Innova people carriers and some Hyundai Sonata models.

In recent months more charging stations have begun to pop up across the city.

The Tesla vehicles will be used on a 24-hour-per-day rota "to serve all events and hotspots across the emirate, especially in Dubai airports, where DTC runs the biggest fleet of Tesla vehicles in the UAE".

At present, about 71 per cent of Dubai's 5,700-vehicle taxi fleet as classed as eco-friendly, with Camry hybrid saloons the most common model, while others use NGV gas.

The city wants to roll out the first autonomous taxis by 2023.

Last month, it began mapping the streets with Google Maps-style vehicles to create a digital path for driverless cars.

The goal is to have a "highly precise digital map" that a vehicle's AI computer can follow, without the need for a person behind the wheel.

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Updated: July 03, 2022, 7:42 AM