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GM has been testing its hybrids as taxis in Dubai since January and the results so far have been so encouraging they feel they may be able to replace the emirates' entire fleet of taxis, government and emergency vehicles by 2012. Despite the heat, sand and humidity on crowded streets, the test fleet has not only held up but also demonstrated their ability to achieve significant cuts in fuel usage and carbon emissions. His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai (and father of 18 children) "challenged" the Dubai Road and Transport Authority (RTA) to pursue an aggressive hybrid implementation strategy in early 2007. The authorities hope that by setting a positive example, ordinary citizens will follow suit, thereby reducing vehicular pollution and making Dubai a more environmentally friendly place. GM saw an opportunity to help itself out and reportedly approached the RTA to begin the relationship. At the conclusion of data analysis the commercialization phase should begin. GM expects to be able to supply 5,000 to 6,000 hybrid vehicles for Dubai with the possibility of an additional 4,000 hybrids for the neighboring emirate of Abu Dhabi. Hit the jump for a bonus video of a pair of GM hybrids cruising the streets of the emirate in an RTA infomercial.


[Source: Khaleej Times]


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