|24 October, 2018

Correction: Dubai government has bought 4,000 green vehicles

Market being driven by local incentives and global advancements in technology, says DSCE head

A car is parked at a charging point for electric vehicles in London, Britain, March 6, 2018. IMAGE USED FOR ILLUSTRATIVE PURPOSE ONLY

A car is parked at a charging point for electric vehicles in London, Britain, March 6, 2018. IMAGE USED FOR ILLUSTRATIVE PURPOSE ONLY

REUTERS/Simon Dawson

(A correction was made to the second paragraph to state the event took place on Wednesday morning).

Government entities in Dubai have already purchased around 4,000 green vehicles within the first two years of the city's Green Mobility Initiative, the head of Dubai's Supreme Council of Energy has said.

Speaking on the opening panel of the World Green Economy Summit in Dubai on Wednesday morning, DSCE secretary general Ahmad Al Muhairbi said that since the initiative to promote the use of green vehicles was launched by the Dubai government in September 2017, "we have now almost 4,000 vehicles in Dubai", with the emirate's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) being the main buyer.

"Out of the 4,000, we have 1,000 EVs (electric vehicles)," Al Muhairbi explained, with the remainder being hybrid vehicles.

Al Muhairbi spelled out some of the incentives that Dubai government organisations have introduced to encourage electric car use in the city, including the 200 charging points established by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) offering free charging, and the 220 free parking spots and free Salik (road toll) tags offered by the RTA.

"Our ultimate objective is to reach 10 percent (green vehicle use) by 2030," Al Muhairbi said." That's almost equivalent to 270,000 cars."

He described this target as both "a very big challenge" and an opportunity.

"We didn't expect 4,000 cars within two years, but one thing very important to understand and to realise is that the technology of green mobility right now is moving, but it's picking up the speed."

Nasser AbuShehab, RTA's CEO of strategy and corporate governance, restated that the RTA already had 50 Tesla electric cars in use as taxis in its fleet, and that it would add a further 150 by next year.

Waddah Al Hashmi, a senior director for sustainability, operational and business excellence for Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC), argued that both Dubai and the United Arab Emirates were "very good at producing the proof of concept" when it comes to the adoption of renewable technologies.

"It's not a question of just setting policies and saying we are going to do this and that. It's about implementation. I think this is why Dubai can be a driving force for the green economy," he argued.

A Thematic Investing report published by Bank of America Merrill Lynch this week predicted that "significant capacity investments and the launch of new models" are underpinning the increasing adoption of electric vehicles globally.

Its analysts have predicted that the proportion of electric vehicle sales will rise from 1 percent of total new car sales last year, to 2.5 percent by 2020, 12 percent by 2025 and 34 percent by 2030. Including hybrid vehicles, it expects green vehicles to make up 24 percent of new car sales by 2025 and 46 percent by 2030.

(Reporting by Michael Fahy; Editing by Shane McGinley)

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© ZAWYA 2018

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