Electric vehicles adoption ‘driving change in infrastructure’

In the next decade, there will be a huge adoption of electric and automated cars on the road.

  
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

The rising adoption of electric vehicles among consumers, as well as advances in autonomous driving technologies, has been propelling the market demand and driving the change in legal infrastructure, says an industry expert.

Cars today are massively more efficient now than they were 10 years ago, and even so, they are stationary for 90 percent of the day. With the dramatic disruption in transportation that has taken place over the last 5 years, the automotive sector is set for a complete change in the coming years.

The rising adoption of electric vehicles among consumers, as well as the developments in autonomous driving technologies, has been propelling the market demand and driving the change in legal infrastructure around the world.

In the next decade, there will be a huge adoption of electric and automated cars on the road. However, to see the full adoption of these modes of transport anywhere in the world require significant changes in infrastructure.

The UAE has been at the forefront of driving that change in the region to support the development of the electric-autonomous automotive market as it matures. The government is targeting a 20 percent adoption of electric vehicles in its own fleet by 2020, and 42,000 electric vehicles on its streets by 2030. In addition to this, the government recently initiated the first phase of a legislative framework to ensure the highest level of efficiency, reliability, and security of smart mobility, with new rules for self-driving cars.

Currently, the high initial cost of purchase of electric vehicles, few charging stations around the city, and a general unawareness of the ease of use and maintenance of electric cars has made the adoption of electric cars by end-users slower than in other global major cities. With a large percentage of the expat population also living in apartment buildings, convenient access to charging stations is also limited.

Saying this, there are steps being taken to make it easier to own an electric vehicle. Last year, DEWA installed 100 electric vehicle charging stations in Dubai, bringing the total number up to 200. This number is expected to continue growing, and property developers are increasingly considering installing EV charging stations in new projects. These developments are all positive steps towards encouraging the adoption of electric cars.

So what does this mean for the used car market? Like with any market, the maturity of the infrastructure is what drives the volume of sales. As the infrastructure continues to develop for the implementation of electric vehicles in society, we will see the electric car market gradually grow. Of course, new cars of today become the pre-loved cars of tomorrow, and we anticipate that within the next five years, we will see the number of used electric vehicles in the second-hand market increase.

This will be a part of the development of the transport sector which will comprise of electric and autonomous vehicles. The electrification and automation of mobility go hand in hand – as cars get electrified, automation will come into play, people will start sharing vehicles, changing the rules of ownership and thereby reducing the cost of mobility. Certainly, the introduction of fast 5G communications will play a huge part in making automation a reality.

The Dubai Autonomous Transportation Strategy aims to transform 25 percent of the total transportation in Dubai to autonomous mode by 2030. The strategy is expected to bring Dh 22 billion in annual economic revenues in several sectors, by reduced transportation costs, carbon emissions, and accidents, and by raising the productivity of individuals as well as saving hundreds of millions of hours wasted in conventional transportation.

Dubai, in particular, is being talked about globally as a city best suited for automated vehicles due to its outstanding road infrastructure.

There’s so much potential to maximize here, and by crowd-sharing fully automated electric vehicles, we will be able to make transportation more effective and cost-efficient. The reduced cost of transport will make eco-friendly transportation more accessible to everyone, bringing rise to the new age of mobility.

About the author

Matthew Davidson is head of Motors Services at dubizzle, a leading classifieds platform for users in the UAE.

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