The UAE's Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, Audi Middle East, and Siemens have signed an agreement which will give a major boost to the adoption of electric vehicles as well as a boost to EV charging facilities on federal roads.

Under the agreement, Siemens will deploy10 ultra-fast chargers on highways in Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah. All cloud-connected devices will allow operators to monitor and manage the chargers remotely.

Since Audi has been the largest manufacturer of EVs among Germany's three premium brands, the automaker will also be part of ambitious infrastructure development plans across the UAE.

As more people adopt EVs in the country, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) has installed more than 325 charging stations across the emirate. It aims to increase this number to over 1,000 stations by 2025.

The agreement between the UAE's ministry, Siemens and Audi comes as UAE residents are increasingly switching to eco-friendly EVs amidst rising fuel prices in the country and worldwide.

The demand for electric vehicles has been growing exponentially over the past year, especially in 2022, as global crude oil prices stay above $100 per barrel. While prices in the UAE, which are aligned with the global markets, reached an all-time high in June 2022, surpassing Dh4 per litre. Petrol prices in the UAE have jumped over 56 per cent during January-June 2022.

Amjad Nasr, managing director of New Auto, said demand for EVs has grown by 200 per cent as compared to last year as charging EVs costs much less than regular cars.

"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.

Nasr added that those motorists who regularly commute between different emirates are finding it difficult to own a fuel car because they drive big gas-guzzlers, hence, they're shifting to electric cars.

Sharif Salim Al Olama, under-secretary of the Ministry of Energy and Industry, said the UAE is committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 and electric vehicles are integral to this effort, providing fast, efficient and convenient EV charging infrastructure is a crucial step in the energy transition.

Carsten Bender, managing director of Audi Middle East, said the agreement underlines its commitment to electrification in the UAE.

"We have been very vocal about our commitment to electrification in the region and look forward through this collaboration to developing solutions that will support EV customers in the UAE based around the latest technologies and charging solutions such as the Audi Charge Hub concept," he said.

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