It features a 20KW electric motor, 26 lead crystal batteries and solar energy panels…

The first hybrid marine transit vehicle in the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) fleet is currently being test run on Dubai Creek. The new hybrid abra looks just like the traditional boats, with capacity for up to 20 riders.

However, there’s a big difference, as this one is powered by a 20KW electric motor. It also has 26 lead crystal batteries and solar energy panels on the top, as well as featuring a standby generator to recharge batteries when power runs low.

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It’s got some pretty high-tech features too, including battery ventilation and cooling system, and USB ports for recharging mobile phones on the go.

So what difference does it make? Well, The hybrid abra is characterised by its low carbon emissions – which are 87 per cent lower than petrol-powered abras. As well as reducing the noise level to a minimum, it’s much more cost effective to operate and maintain, as well as reducing fuel consumption by a whopping 172 per cent.

During the trial period, you can catch it on the Al Seef-Al Ghubaiba line between Al Seef, Baniyas, Dubai Old Souq, and Al Ghubaiba marine transport stations. The fare is just Dhs2 each way.

You might also soon be able to catch it on some brand new routes, as the RTA is set to construct a further 11 new marine transit stations in Dubai between now and 2020. The new lines will be opened on Dubai Creek, Jumeirah beach and the Dubai Water Canal, bringing the total to 58 marine transport stations.

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Images: Dubai Media Office