Should you get a green car?
It is hoped that the deregulation of fuel prices might encourage more people to use public transport and maybe even end our attachment to gas-guzzlers.
For the non-grease monkeys out there, a hybrid vehicle has a traditional engine that requires fuel to run, and an electric motor that runs on a battery. The car uses the battery when pulling out, braking, and cruising at relatively low speeds. The motor switches to fuel when travelling at higher speeds and during heavy acceleration. An electric vehicle, on the other hand, has a motor that is powered by a battery pack rather than fuel. In order to recharge the battery, you need to plug it into an electrical source.
1) Fuel efficiency, especially in city driving. A lot of fuel is wasted during traffic jams, with constant acceleration and braking. With a hybrid, that time would be spent using the electric motor.
2) Low maintenance cost and carbon emissions are also greatly reduced. The resale value is higher than regular cars since hybrids are less susceptible to damage and wear and tear.
3) As for the drive itself, the engine is quieter than regular cars and offers a smooth ride as well.
1) Since the hybrid car is housing both an electric and a fuel energy source, it weighs more, leading to issues in handling though this is improving. 2) Choices are also limited, since not every brand tends to make them. This is changing, however, as hybrids gain popularity. 3) Hybrid cars are more expensive than regular models, but that can be offset with the money saved on fuel. Recharge time is also problematic, as it can take anywhere between four-20 hours to get a full recharge depending on the model and charging station.
Carmudi’s verdict: With electric vehicle charging stations opening up around Dubai and talks underway for privileges for eco-friendly car drivers, the pros might very well soon outweigh the cons.
But where would you charge it?
The Green Charger initiative aims to build 100 electric vehicle charging stations throughout the City this year. DEWA opened the first charging station last February and so far 16 stations have been built for public use, and 84 more are expected this year. Each station can accommodate two vehicles at the same time while, the one installed at DEWA’s centre, can charge 24 vehicles simultaneously. These stations are at DEWA ‘s head office, the Sustainable Building, Al Wasl, Al Hudaiba, Burj Nahar, Umm Ramool, and Jebel Ali.
Another station has been installed in Dubai Silicon Oasis and one more will be installed soon. The Green Charger stations in DEWA ‘s offices will operate during customer service working hours while stations in petrol stations and other public places such as car parks will operate round the clock.
Currently car manufacturers including BMW, Renault, Lexus, and Nissan have electric and hybrid cars available in Dubai while RTA’s Dubai Taxi Corporation operate 177 hybrid taxis.
The rate per kilowatt hour (kW/h) for charging an electric vehicle in public charging points is 29 fils per kW/h. If the vehicle is charged at home, the standard residential electricity rate will be applied. Electric vehicle owners can visit any of DEWA ‘s customer service centres to register and get the Green Charger card. For more info, visit dewa.gov.ae