Local Business

UAE motorists set sights on EVs

Rohma Sadaqat /Dubai
rohma@khaleejtimes.com Filed on December 19, 2020
Michal Ocwieja with his son Denis checking an electric car Renault Twizy at the Grand Finale of the Electric Vehicle Road Trip Middle East at The Sustainable City in Dubai. -- File photo

The trend towards more environmentally friendly and fuel-efficient vehicles continues, but concerns about battery range and price will slow the widespread adoption of EVs

Petrol heads across the UAE are increasingly looking at the offerings of the electric vehicle (EV) market, with many saying that they are considering buying one as their second vehicle.

According to new research by digital transformation consultancy, Publicis Sapient, the trend towards more environmentally friendly and fuel-efficient vehicles continues, but concerns about battery range and price will slow the widespread adoption of EVs. The paper showed that 82 per cent of UAE respondents are considering an EV as their next vehicle; whilst 90 per cent are considering a hybrid. The research also found that those in the UAE are more likely than any other country surveyed to pay more for better fuel efficiency. The UAE is also the most willing region to pay more for connected technology features in their next vehicle, although 77 per cent believe the tech they have access to on their smartphone should come as standard.

“The market for electric mobility is growing fast and the UAE is supporting this development proactively,” said Dr. Manfred Braeunl, CEO of Porsche Middle East and Africa.

He explained that the brand has taken many steps towards enhancing the general awareness and perception for its hybrid and electric range on offer. “People adapt if they are convinced that a product meets their needs and expectations. Hence, following our recent launch of our first fully electric car, the Taycan, we focus extensively on providing test-driving opportunities – the best way to showcase high-powered electric motors, instant torque, and multiple accelerations without the loss of performance. Combined with the Porsche-typical quality, a generous driving range and an innovative design, we have proven that Porsche’s E-Performance programme is genuine and directed at the future.”

While the GCC region has been predominantly seen as an oil-based economy for over a decade, renewable energy, clean transportation technologies, concerns about pollution and climate change, and support for sustainable growth are now driving the new economic agenda, with governments fully focused on economic diversification with the introduction of renewable energy sources high on the priority list. The UAE, in particular, aims to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 70 per cent, increase clean energy use by 50 per cent, and improve energy efficiency by 40 per cent by 2050.

To support the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, which seeks to produce 75 per cent of the emirate’s energy from clean energy, the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy mandated that 10 per cent of all new cars in the emirate must be electric or hybrid by 2020, and that 10 per cent of all cars should be green by 2030. Since the launch of Tesla’s showroom in Dubai in 2017, the government has continued to encourage people to buy EVs over traditional cars, leaving the market with an array of EV choices in Dubai ever since.

Kevin Chalhoub, founder and CEO at EV Lab, is confident that the UAE is ready to embrace the new technology, saying: “Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time and road transportation is responsible for 24 per cent of emissions globally. There is an urgent need to move towards a fully electrified transportation system.”

With the second-highest ratio of public charging stations per EVs in the world, the UAE is a perfect place to own an electric car, he added. “The faster acceleration, the ease of charging, the extended range, the increased power, and the advanced technology are some of the reasons why EVs are the future of mobility.”

During its lifecycle, electric vehicles can save an average of 20 per cent of carbon dioxide for every kilometer driven in comparison to their gasoline counterparts, and up to 100 per cent of the electric grid is operated solely on renewable energy. With a 40 per cent global year-on-year increase in EV sales, Dubai is just one of the cities in the region working on making its roads viable for electric cars.

— rohma@khaleejtimes.com


Rohma Sadaqat

I am a reporter and sub-editor on the Business desk at Khaleej Times. I mainly cover and write articles on the UAE's retail, hospitality, travel, and tourism sectors.Originally from Lahore, I have been living in the UAE for more than 20 years. I graduated with a BA in Mass Communication, with a concentration in Journalism, and a double minor in History and International Studies from the American University of Sharjah.If you see me out and about on assignment in Dubai, feel free to stop me, say hello, and we can chat about the latest kitten videos on YouTube.

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