Electric vehicles. A strategic choice for a smart and sustainable transport sector
The UAE attaches great importance to the development of a smart and sustainable transport sector, which is one of the fastest growing sources of carbon emissions in the world, and sustainable transport plays a pivotal role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving air quality, and promoting overall environmental sustainability.
With the continuation of urban expansion, there is a need to adopt sustainable, cleaner and more efficient technologies in addressing transport challenges, especially since the country adopts the concept of sustainability as a common factor among all its development plans and a strategic choice and a key and pivotal component of achieving comprehensive development.
Electric vehicles are a strategic choice that contributes to reducing emissions in the transport sector, which is witnessing significant technological changes, as it shapes the future of the sustainable transport sector, which is increasingly important with the UAE's commitment to investing in sustainable solutions in line with the Strategic Initiative for Climate Neutrality 2050, the declaration of 2023 as the Year of Sustainability in the country and its readiness to host world leaders at the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28).
The environmental benefits of the spread of electric vehicles, which contribute to reducing carbon emissions and increasing air quality, are in line with the strategic objectives of the 28th edition of COP30, which will be hosted by the UAE from November 12 to December <> in Expo City Dubai, where the conference seeks to discuss ways to establish sustainability in all sectors.
- The future of electric cars.
The number of electric and hybrid vehicles in the UAE is increasing rapidly, which is even more evident in the taxi fleets that now travel on the roads of most of the emirates, while the country is witnessing an increase in the acquisition of personal vehicles powered by electricity in recent years, as the decision to liberalize fuel prices issued in 2015 contributed to accelerating this transformation.
The UAE is leading the change towards the future of electric vehicles in the region, having since 2021 successfully converted more than 20% of government fleets into electric vehicles.
The culture of driving electric cars is witnessing a great spread among all segments of the UAE society due to its role in preserving the environment and reducing carbon emissions, as well as the low cost of charging a car battery in the UAE, where the cost of charging an electric car is about AED 7.5 through household electrical appliances, for each vehicle traveling a distance of 400 kilometers.
- Emirati incentives.
The electric car reduces carbon dioxide emissions by about 70% compared to its conventional counterpart, making it a sustainable way to enhance air quality due to its contribution to reducing dependence on fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as reducing noise pollution due to lower sound and requiring lower maintenance costs. They also require less polluting liquids such as engine oil and cooled liquids.
While both a regular and electric car needs to change batteries in time, eliminating an electric vehicle's battery is less polluting than its conventional counterpart.
The UAE has provided many incentives that encourage individuals to use electric cars as well as use sustainable means of transportation, which rely on a lower annual energy consumption rate, in order to establish a sustainable environment in terms of air quality, conserve natural resources, increase reliance on clean energy and apply green development, which is in the direction of improving the quality of life and consolidating the UAE's position as a global role model in the field of green economy.
- Localization of industry.
In line with the UAE's efforts to transition to green transport solutions, MGLORY Holding Group last year opened the Al Damani Electric Vehicle Manufacturing Plant in Dubai Industrial City, a subsidiary of TECOM Group, the first industrial facility of its kind in the UAE.
In September 2022, Kizad, part of the Economic Cities and Free Zones sector of AD Ports Group, signed a lease agreement with NWTN to establish an electric vehicle assembly facility in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to meet the growing demand for sustainable transport options.
Under the agreement, NWTN will operate a 25,5-square-meter automotive manufacturing, testing and related logistics area developed by Kizad, with an annual production capacity of 10,50 to <>,<> electric vehicles per year assembled under a fully undisassembled EV parts assembly system. The second phase of the project will see the production capacity increased to <>,<> cars per year.
- Advanced infrastructure.
With advanced infrastructure and modern technological capabilities, the UAE has succeeded in taking the lead in the Middle East in terms of the number of car chargers it owns.
The country is currently introducing new companies that are working on providing advanced chargers capable of fully charging the car in 15 to 20 minutes, which will encourage new categories to own environmentally friendly cars.
The UAE has provided an integrated infrastructure for electric vehicle charging stations, as charging sites are distributed densely in the various emirates, and the "Green Charger for Electric Vehicles" initiative, launched by DEWA in 2015 to stimulate the acquisition of electric vehicles, recorded until the end of 2022 more than 720,9653 charging transactions monitored through the use of DEWA's green charger stations through 13,264 electric vehicles registered in the initiative, where DEWA provided through the initiative more than 2015,66 MWh of electricity to charge electric vehicles in the Emirate of Dubai since 322, contributing to a total of 543,370,650 kilometers using electric vehicles.
The initiative has been a success with more than <> Green Charger stations currently reaching more than <> Green Charger stations, including more than <> charging points across Dubai.
DEWA aims to reach 1,000 Green Charger stations by 2025. This initiative has had a significant impact on the significant increase in the number of electric vehicles in Dubai.
- Government incentives.
As part of the UAE's efforts to encourage the use of sustainable means of transport such as electric and hybrid vehicles, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has launched a comprehensive website dedicated to the latest developments and information related to electric vehicles in Dubai.
The Dubai Electric Car Community website aims to increase the use of electric vehicles by centralizing information on the latest electric vehicle developments in Dubai.
The website also covers the latest government strategies, objectives, incentives and regulations related to electric vehicles, along with the latest models of electric vehicles available in the UAE, charging station standards, installations and locations, as well as available insurance plans and green car loans for the purchase of electric vehicles.
- Green transport solutions.
As part of the UAE's readiness for the future and keeping pace with the great changes taking place in the transport sector, and the country's keenness to shift towards green transport solutions, Bee'ah Recycling signed an agreement with the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure and the American University of Sharjah to cooperate and explore the prospects of establishing the first plant to recycle expired electric vehicle batteries, which consolidates the UAE's efforts to achieve carbon neutrality and sustainable zero-waste growth for the electric vehicle market, which is in line with the National, regional and global sustainability.