Published on January 5th, 2018 | by Zachary Shahan0
Foundations of EV Revolution in Dubai, UAE (Interview with Taher Diab)
January 5th, 2018 by Zachary Shahan
One of the speakers at the coming World Future Energy Summit’s 1st annual The Mobility Conference, which is also the kickoff point for the 2018 Middle East Electric Vehicle Road Trip, is Taher Diab. Mr. Diab is Senior Director of Strategy & Planning at Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and Secretary General of the Emirates Energy Award. Below is an interview Ben Pullen, co-founder and managing director of Global EVRT, conducted with Mr. Diab about the EV story in Dubai and in the UAE at large.
The UAE has taken a progressive approach to boost green mobility and address cleaner fuel transformation. Dubai’s Green Mobility Initiative complements the spirit of the UAE Vision 2021 and Dubai Plan 2021, by providing alternative modes of transportation that can save fuel and reduce carbon emissions. The Dubai Supreme Council of Energy performed a detailed analysis of market potential and size which led to a penetration target of 10% of hybrid and EVs in the government fleet by 2021.
2. What sustainable transport pearls of wisdom will you be mainly be talking about and sharing at the WFES/Global EVRT Mobility Conference in January?
In addition to creating a market for hybrids and EVs, leading by example will enable the government to build the learning curve necessary to expand the deployment of such vehicles. Engagement with auto manufacturers, dealers and insurance companies have been fruitful in setting the scene in Dubai where workshops were held to hear their views and challenges. In addition to incentive scheme to influence the car owners of shifting to EVs, Dubai has launched its incentive scheme in September 2017 for EV vehicles and installed more than 120 charging stations throughout the emirate with another 100 stations on the way.
3. What are the main challenges facing the industry right now?
The transition from conventional vehicles to EVs and hybrid is going to take its natural evolvement course (and that is a global issue), but the momentum has been building up with improved driving distance range and faster charging time. Price and availability of maintenance are the next issue that will have to improve to compete with conventional vehicles. In this region, the cultural barriers will soften as we have seen an encouraging number of EVs in UAE, particularly, in Dubai. The opening of TESLA showroom in Dubai as a first in the MENA region is a true reflection of the positive trend toward penetration of EVs.
4. How do you see the market playing out by 2020?
According to market research and technological advancements, EVs are set to improve drastically in driving range, battery performance and price. These three elements and enhanced consumer experience should increase penetration of EVs in the region and globally. Major manufacturers such as BMW, Audi and Nissan are employing vast resources in allocating a considerable percentages of their cars to be EVs. This will drive prices down and provide more options to car buyers.