In line with the UAE’s Vision 2021, which is aimed at reducing the country’s dependence on fossil fuel, top car manufacturers are running full throttle offering hybrid cars and electric vehicles (EVs) to UAE motorists.
On display at the 14th Dubai International Motor Show that ran until Saturday were the latest models of hybrid EVs and electric working prototypes making their regional debut.
Nissan BladeGlider, a working prototype high performance electric vehicle with sports car design, made its regional debut on Tuesday at the show. The sporty prototype can reach speeds of up to 190 kph in less than five seconds and its main attraction are the rear-hinged doors which provide a unique entry and exit to the cabin, while the open roof and integrated roll-over protection structure offer an open-topped race car feel with the safety of a coupe.
Displayed side by side with the BladeGlider is the new, zero-emission Nissan Leaf, touted as the world’s best-selling electric car, with nearly 300,000 on the road. The one displayed in Dubai is the second generation which offers a longer range, advanced technologies and dynamic design aside from its innovations which include e-Pedal technology that allows drivers to start, accelerate, decelerate and stop, by increasing or decreasing the pressure applied to the accelerator, bringing the car to a complete stop. The car holds its position, even on steep slopes, until the accelerator is applied again.
Studies by Nissan in Japan, Europe and the US have showed that the Nissan Leaf’s e-Pedal reduces the number of times the driver must apply the brakes while commuting in heavily congested traffic. While the conventional brake pedal must still be used in aggressive braking situations, the e-Pedal lets drivers use a single pedal for more than 90 percent of their driving needs.
“Our aim is to make driving safer, smarter and more enjoyable, as well as tackling some of the world’s big challenges like climate change, traffic congestion and road fatalities,” said Kalyana Sivagnanam, president of Nissan Middle East and regional vice-president, marketing and sales for Africa, the Middle East and India.
Another concept car is the Mercedes-AMG Project One, a two-seater supersports car, which brings the Formula 1 hybrid technology from the race track to the road. The plug-in hybrid drive system consists of one hybrid, turbocharged combustion engine with a total of four electric motors which produce over 1,000 hp and reach top speeds beyond 350 kph.
Going strong on its CO2 reduction agenda, Toyota has also launched the 2018 Camry Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) that provides over 70 percent greater fuel economy than a regular petrol engine Camry. The 2.5-liter engine and Camry’s improved electric motor produces more torque and helps make acceleration even more responsive, delivering 212 horsepower.
Saud Abbasi, managing director of Toyota at Al-Futtaim Motors, said Toyota’s Hybrid electric taxis, used by Dubai Taxi, is expected to cross the 2,000 mark by the end of the year.
KIANiro, an urban crossover hybrid vehicle that recently set a Guinness World Records for the lowest fuel consumption driving across the US from coast to coast, also made its debut in Dubai.
KHALEEJ TIMES, DUBAI (UAE)/TNS