Future looks green for Dubai’s electric vehicles

Future looks green for Dubai’s electric vehicles

Dewa opens first green charging station for electric vehicles, 100 to come up by year-end.



By Sajila Saseendran/senior Reporter

Published: Fri 27 Feb 2015, 12:43 AM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 10:29 PM

Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum (centre); Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer (right); and Matar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the Roads and Transport Authority, during the inauguration of the first charging station for electric and hybrid vehicles at the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority headquarters on Wednesday. — KT photos by Juidin Bernarrd

Dubai - At least 200 hybrid and electric cars are expected to hit Dubai roads by the end of the year, with the emirate launching the infrastructure to charge them on the go.

How it works

Electric cars are expected to be the next big thing to expand Dubai’s green lungs.

At the launch of the first charging stations for these cars, Majid Ali Hilal Al Hazami, a manager at the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa), who is in charge of the project, explained to Khaleej Times how the whole system will work.

He compared the zero-emission electric cars to mobile phones. “Just like mobile phones, you charge them overnight at homes. However, it takes a lot of time to charge them.”

Depending on the cars, it may take eight to 12 hours to completely charge electric cars at home. “You need to recharge them when you are driving around. The new stations will help in that.”

The first 100 charging stations to come up in Dubai will include fast, public, and also home charging stations. Sixteen have been installed at Dewa offices, Dubai Silicon Oasis and Dubai Design District. The rest will be installed at Dubai Airports, Dubai Municipality, RTA, and other locations such as shopping malls, petrol stations, hotels and parking areas, among others.

“The fast charging stations that will take about 30 minutes to charge EVs will be available in petrol stations.”

The other two types include charging stations that take four hours, and six to eight hours respectively. The setting up of the three types will be based on recommendations by the project’s consultants.

The mileage of the cars depends on their models. However, officials said cars like Renault Zoe can go at a top speed of 120-140kmph. BMW’s latest zero-emission i3 has a top speed of 150kmph, said Al Hazami.

To charge these cars from the new EV Green Charger stations in Dubai, he said, car owners have to register with the Dewa. “Those who have an account with Dewa will be linked to that account and those who do not have an account with us will be issued a new account.”

A payment card, which is also named EV Green Charger, will be issued to the users. “They need to tap this card on the charging box before and after charging the vehicles. They will have a postpaid bill reflected in their monthly Dewa bills,” he said.

Electric car owners in Dubai will be charged the normal rate of power charges. “The tariff will be the same for them. It is currently 29.5fils/kw.”

sajila@khaleejtimes.com

The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) opened the first public charging stations for environment-friendly electric vehicles (EV) in Dubai on Wednesday under the brand name Dubai EV Green Charger.

Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, CEO and Chairman of Emirates airline and Group, and Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy; and Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD and CEO of Dewa and Vice-Chairman of the energy council, officially inaugurated the two stations at the authority’s headquarters.

Al Tayer said 16 stations are included in the first phase of the project, which is one of the three Smart Dubai initiatives that Dewa announced last year.

Twelve of these stations are located in Dewa’s offices across the emirate, while Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) and Dubai Design District house two each. One charging station at DSO along with other stations in Dewa offices are ready for use, while the remaining three will be operational in March.

Each station can charge two cars at a time. Dewa plans to roll out 100 EV Green Charger stations by the end of the year.

The charging stations in Dewa headquarters in Al Gharoud and its Sustainable Building in Al Qouz are solar-powered while the rest are connected to the utility’s grid.

A BMW i8 hybrid car and two electric cars — a Renault Zoe and a BMW i3 imported from Germany — were charged at the stations at Dewa headquarters during the ceremony. “This station is an important step towards achieving the objectives of the sustainable smart city and transforming Dubai into the smartest city in the world,” said Al Tayer.

“This pioneering initiative will greatly support Dewa’s efforts to reduce the carbon footprint, protect the environment, and drive Dubai’s sustainable development forward. We are confident this project will have the full support of Dubai residents as well as government and private organisations.”

Cheaper transport

Officials vouch that users will find it cheaper to use electric cars than gasoline-powered ones. Waleed Salman, Executive Vice-President for Strategy and Business Development at Dewa, estimated that it would cost just Dh3 for covering 100km.

Compared to gasoline-guzzlers, electric cars help in reducing pollution and greenhouse gas emission. They also require very less maintenance. However, they require more initial investment and longer time for charging, factors that have hindered their popularity.

There are no official figures available for the number of such cars in Dubai. They are as less as a few dozens, according to industry experts. Hardly 10 people in Dubai and Northern Emirates have bought BMW’s hybrid car i8.

With more charging facilities in public places, Dewa aims to encourage more people to use electric cars and contribute to a sustainable environment in Dubai.

Salman said the authority is in talks with electric car manufacturers, government departments and private developers for boosting the presence of electric cars and their charging stations in the emirate.

An investment of Dh10 million is budgeted for the overall infrastructure development of 100 charging stations, said Salman. “But now we are floating the tender and when we get the prices, we will know how much it will cost.”

Majid Ali Hilal Al Hazami, a Dewa manager in charge of the project, said Dewa is expecting 200 to 300 customers by the end of this year.

sajila@khaleejtimes.com


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