An agreement has been reached between the state-owned utility company Saudi Electricity Co. and 3 Japan-based firms that will see Saudi Arabia get its first plug-in electric vehicle pilot program, the firm has revealed.
To be more specific, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), Nissan, and Takaoka Toko have signed on to build a basic but comprehensive electric vehicle (EV) system in Saudi Arabia — with TEPCO and Takaoka Toko providing 3 EV fast chargers that are reportedly capable of charging EVs fully in just 30 minutes and Nissan initially providing Saudi Electricity Co (SEC) with 3 electric vehicles.
There has been no timeframe released yet for the realization of this initial pilot program or possible expansions (one would presume that if all goes well initially, then the program will be expanded).
“Such a move is part of the company’s strategy to reduce reliance on oil and cut emissions, SEC said in a statement. State oil giant Saudi Aramco is also working on technologies to make vehicles more efficient,” Reuters reports.
“Its CEO Amin Nasser told Reuters in November improved efficiency would better sustain production in the long term with renewables hopefully growing and contributing to meeting rising demand which will require different sources of energy. Nasser told CNBC in October in an interview, EVs will take a good market share but it will be decades before they have a significant percentage of the energy mix.”
What’s interesting here is how underwhelming the pilot program sounds (only 3 EVs initially — yes, maybe that’s all that SEC needs right now, but still…). Compare to moves taken in recent times to embrace EVs in the UAE. It’s still interesting to hear, though, that even Saudi Arabia is tentatively beginning to explore the use of EVs.
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