Your guide to owning an electric vehicle in UAE: Free parking, car registration

Dubai - Benefits of owning electric vehicles, maintenance costs


James Jose

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Published: Sat 21 Aug 2021, 10:18 AM

Last updated: Sat 21 Aug 2021, 11:46 PM

As the UAE drives towards clean transport and sustainable mobility, electric vehicles (EVs) are gaining speed. And motorists who are making the switch are reaping the benefits of going green.

Over the years, the country has heavily invested on EV infrastructure and rolled out plenty of incentives to encourage more vehicle owners to swap their regular cars with electric ones.

In Dubai, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has given EV owners free parking slots and free Salik tags. More than 750 charging stations have also been set up across the country.

With all these benefits, industry experts believe there will soon be an uptick in demand and growth.

“The biggest and most exciting part of it is when everyone changes to EVs,” Kevin Chalhoub, founder and owner of EV Lab, told Khaleej Times.

“We passed from horses to cars and are now transitioning to EVs, so it’s not about reaching 90 per cent share; it’s about the speed at which we can go from one per cent to 90 per cent. Starting with the Expo in October, we hope that EVs won’t be a thing of the future any longer, but of the present.”

As a step in that direction, EV Lab — the first-of-its-kind omnichannel, multi-brand electric platform — is creating awareness by setting up pop-up stores in Dubai, allowing people to learn more about EVs.

“EV Lab is about creating awareness for electric vehicles in the region. We want people to have the chance to see, test and know why EVs are interesting and why they could be a good choice for them to purchase in the future,” said the Dubai-born entrepreneur, who studied renewable energy at Stanford and worked in the solar industry.

At the lab’s pop-up store at Mall of the Emirates, 30,000 came in to have a look. Currently, it is showcasing four models — the Tesla Model 3, Audi RS e-tron GT, the upcoming Bolt EUV, and the new Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4, the first plug-in hybrid — at City Centre Mirdif.

“Over 1,000 people expressed their interest and that’s more than the EVs that were sold the previous year in the entire market. So, it is exciting,” Chalhoub revealed.

“Dubai has always been a tech-advanced city. There are already very exciting policies in Dubai like free charging, free parking, free registration, and free Salik tags.”

Chalhoub pointed out that the ratio of EV chargers in the UAE is higher than those in most places in Europe. “There are over 750 chargers, as of 2019, the second-most number of chargers per EV on the road after Amsterdam.”


>> Dubai: Free parking, Salik tags for electric vehicle owners

>> Abu Dhabi implements unified tariff for electric vehicle charging

“I’m a firm believer that the adoption can be much faster. Especially in this post-Covid era, people are realising that collective action works...We need to make conscious buying decisions and exciting ones, such as EVs, for pollution to decrease.”

Benefits of owning EVs:

> Latest technologies like full self-driving capability

> Performance

> Acceleration (the Audi RS e-tron GT and Tesla Model 3 can go from 0-100kmph in 3.3 seconds)

> Travel range (from 400km to 800km)

> Ability to recapture energy while decelerating by regenerative braking, which in turn gives more range

> Fast charging (can charge in 6-8 hours at work/home using AC chargers; fast charging using DC chargers)

> Recharge once a week depending on the distance

> Low maintenance

> 10 times less spare parts

> No oil changes

> Zero tailpipe emissions (EVs save about 20 per cent of carbon emissions for every kilometre driven compared to petrol vehicles)

> Some are made out of recyclable materials, such as the BMW i3 model

> Incentives like free charging, free parking, free Salik tags, free registration

Models currently available in the UAE:

> Mercedes Benz EQC

> Chevrolet Bolt EV

> Porsche Taycan

> Renault ZOE

> Audi e-tron

> Audi e-tron GT

> Tesla Model S/X/3


> Jaguar I-Pace

> Peugeot 3008 PHEV

> Hyundai Kona

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