Demand for electric vehicles (EVs) has grown exponentially in the UAE as fuel prices reached an all-time high in June.
Industry executives say motorists, especially those who regularly commute between different emirates of the UAE, are increasingly switching to EVs as new brands also make their way into the UAE.
Belal Nasr, CEO of New Auto, stressed that EVs are highly economical considering the high oil prices in the UAE.
"Instead of spending Dh2,000 on fuel, we can pay the same amount as instalments for the new electric vehicle. Also, banks are offering very attractive interest rates on electric vehicles and the government also encourages the use of electric cars," said Nasr.
He said there had been a huge demand for EVS after fuel prices increased, and motorists are worried because the price is consistently staying high in the global markets.
The company is importing several EV brands, including Volkswagen, Hyundai, Kia, and exports them to other countries.
Following strong demand in the local market, Nasr added that the UAE market is seeing a shortage of EVs.
A survey by Audi Abu Dhabi has revealed that 52 per cent of UAE residents are considering hybrid or electric vehicles due to the rise in fuel prices, while 25 per cent said they're waiting for more EV options to a make a decision.
Interestingly, 14 per cent said they recently bought a petrol car but wished they would have purchased a hybrid/EV instead.
Fuel prices in the UAE reached over four dirhams per litre in June, the highest ever, rising by 56 per cent since January 2022 after to a surge in global oil prices due to the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
"Interest in EVs has continued to grow organically over time. However increasing petrol prices has certainly accelerated the shift in consumers' attitude towards EV adoption," said Mark Austin, general manager, Audi Abu Dhabi.
Amjad Nasr, managing director of New Auto, said charging EVs is currently free or costs very little.
"Charging EVs costs very less when compared to filling fuel prices. A regular car costs Dh200-250 to fill the tank. So filling the tank 8 to 10 times a month means Dh2,000, which the car owner can pay for his EV's monthly instalment," he said.
Currently, a number of malls and buildings offer charging and parking for electric vehicles in the UAE for free. Similarly, environment-friendly vehicle owners can avail a free Salik tag upon registering their vehicle.
Recently, the UAE's Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure also signed an agreement with Siemens technology to install 10 ultra-fast EV chargers on highways in Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah.
Through the 'Green Charger' initiative, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) provides more than 325 charging stations for electric vehicles across Dubai. It is working to increase this number to reach over 1,000 stations by 2025.
In June, Dubai Investments Park embarked on an initiative to install Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations across the free zone to encourage the use of environmentally-friendly electric vehicles.
Amjad said demand is phenomenal in the UAE, up by nearly 200 per cent when compared to last year.
"People are asking for electric cars because fuel prices are going through the roof. For example, one of our customers who drives a big 4x4 was complaining about the high fuel cost of Dh2,000-plus a month to commute between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. People who drive for long distances are opting for EVs, which will save them a lot of money," he said.
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