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Dubai Welcomes Chevrolet Tahoe, Malibu Hybrids as Taxis

When it comes to cities that need taxis - hybrid taxis, at that - Dubai isn't the first locale that springs to mind. However, the city in the United Arab Emirates is placing brightly-colored Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrids and Malibu Hybrids into actual taxi service.

Sponsored by Dubai's Roads & Transport Authority, five Tahoes and Malibus will serve as taxis for an entire year. The project is a step towards introducing environmentally-friendly vehicles into Dubai's taxi fleet.

The hybrids are part of a move to clean Dubai's public transportation system. The UAE is considering banning commercial vehicles more than 15 years old, in addition to repowering buses and water taxis with compressed natural gas.

As neither hybrid model is sold in the Middle East, fleet service in Dubai may prove to be a challenge for both the Malibu and Tahoe. Although nearly 100 personnel were trained on servicing the electrical systems for both, GM engineers will keep tabs on how key elements - particularly the battery packs - function in the desert heat.