Sunday, 18 April 2021 09:51 GMT

Green vehicles: Abu Dhabi's answer to air pollution

(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The national capital finds its way to cut emission levels to the minimum.

A high-level committee of Abu Dhabi Executive Council approved the Low Emission Vehicle Strategy on Monday, which aims at introducing low emission vehicles to reduce air pollution.

The meeting chaired by Saeed Eid Al Ghafli, the Chairman of the Executive Office, has approved several other initiatives that would support the environmental sustainability and improve Abu Dhabi's infrastructure efficiency.

The strategy comprises three main elements, namely, raising awareness and educating the target audience through campaigns that encourage the use of more sustainable transportation, the convenient infrastructure, and empowerment through several supporting measures and incentives.

Low emission vehicles play a major role as efficient means of transportation that support economic growth and better quality of life, while ensuring environmental stability in Abu Dhabi.

They also reduce harmful emissions in a way that significantly improves air quality compared to gasoline or diesel powered vehicles.

Syed Hamayun Alam, general manager of Al Masaood Automobile, said: "There would be focus on electric powered vehicles and cars using bio-fuels. The issue with the slow growth of electric vehicles is that there is no infrastructure to recharge the cars."

The charging facilities can be established at patrol stations, parking lots, near major office complexes and public buildings, so that the car owners are not stuck on roads for want of fuel, as most cars have up to 160-km mileage per charge, the leading automobile dealer added.

Move to stop importing

At present, vehicles imported in the country conforms to Euro 1 emission standards to less than Euro 3 standards. However, in Europe, the vehicles allowed to ply on roads conforms to Euro-6 standards.

The UAE will introduce Euro 4 emission standards by 2018, when no vehicle would be import into the country, Syed Alam said.

Also, there is a strategy to encourage the use of Compressed Natural Gas or CNG by the public transport, he said.

And by 2020, 25 per cent of the taxis plying on the capital roads would be fuelled by CNG, along with 25 per cent of the buses, in line with the government strategy.

There are six taxi operators in the Emirate, and each will have 1,025 vehicles on their fleets.

It should be noted that higher amounts of Carbon dioxide, Nitrogen oxide and Particle Matter or PM in air cause breathing disorders such as asthma in children besides other allergies and diseases.

The Low-Emission Vehicle Strategy

> Development of Capital City District as a major initiative of Plan Abu Dhabi 2030

> Continuous expansion of Abu Dhabi bus routes

> Implementing the issued decree that bans:

(a) cars older than 15-years

(b) import of cars old than five years

(c) import of heavy vehicles old than seven-years

(d) taxis older than five years

(e) ownership transfer of cars older than ten-years

> Lowering Carbon monoxide emission limit from current 4.5%

> Introduce tram and metro to the public transport system

> Provide financial incentives to encourage hybrid vehicles

> Strict periodic industrial inspections to control point sources and fugitive emissions

> Provide incentives for factories applying best available technologies to control emission

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