By Sarah Townsend
News follows signing of a 200-car deal with Tesla in February, RTA says
A total of 50 Tesla electric cars have been deployed in the Dubai state taxi fleet, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum has announced.
Sheikh Ahmed, who is chairman of Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, as well as of Dubai Airports, chairman and CEO of Emirates Group and president of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, launched the operation of 50 Tesla electric vehicles to Dubai Taxi Corporation’s limousine fleet on Sunday.
The vehicles are fitted with several components for self-driving and are part of a 200-car deal signed with Tesla in February, Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) director-general Mattar Al Tayer said.
Incorporating the cars into the national taxi fleet is part of Dubai’s plans to become one of the smartest cities in the world – and particularly to meet the directives of the Dubai Smart Autonomous Mobility Strategy that aims to convert 25 percent of total journeys in Dubai into driverless journeys by 2030.
Al Tayer said: “The RTA has recently taken delivery of 50 Tesla vehicles as part of a deal for 200 vehicles signed last February on the sidelines of the World Government Summit 2017.
“Accordingly, 75 vehicles will be supplied in 2018, and 75 others to be delivered in 2019.
“The Dubai Taxi Corporation has coordinated with the concerned parties to provide the needed infrastructure to ensure the operation of these vehicles including the provision of 13 electric recharging stations.”
He added that the vehicles contracted by the RTA are two models – (S) from Sedan and (X) from SUVs. The (S) model had achieved the highest possible safety rating of electric cars at the time of its launch, the authority said.
Tesla opened its first electric vehicle showroom in Dubai – the 17,000 square foot retail store and service centre on Sheikh Zayed Road – in July.
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