The Crowne Plaza Hotel in Sohar, Oman, with its serene pool, carefree massage center, trendy dining, and state-of-the-art business facilities, is a magnet for the traveler who wants upscale amenities. So it makes sense that Crowne Plaza was the site where Oman’s first EV charging station ever was opened.
The celebration of the first EV charging station was part of the Middle East Global EVRT (Electric Vehicle Road Trip) that exposed EVs to local audiences.
And, while the Sohar charging station was the first in Oman, it definitely was just a starting place for EV charging in the area. By the end of the 1,200 km Global EVRT, 18 charging stations opened throughout the country.
A fleet of EVs traveled on the road from Abu Dhabi to Muscat to Dubai, and 55 people participated in the 9-day adventure. In addition to opening new charging stations, visiting sights of sustainability interest, and testing out EVs in a journey through the most beautiful landscapes of the region, the Global EVRT excursion was about “having fun, building community, and meeting new people,” offered Global EVRT Cofounder and Managing Director Ben Pullen.
With recent studies indicating that almost every 6th car sold in the world will be electric by 2025, more and more people are taking notice of EVs. Increases in EV affordability, driving range, and variety of models are convincing skeptics to consider EVs for their next car purchases. Because electric cars are mechanically simpler than internal combustion engine cars, seeing EVs on the road in large numbers helps to ease fears that potential consumers may have about reliability.
Having the chance to be up close and personal with EVs also helps to assuage consumer trepidation. A close encounter with an EV can encourage people to leave their internal combustion vehicles behind forever.
Among the EVs present on this Global EVRT were the popular Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model S. Global EVRT’s mission is to “accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles for the creation of smart and sustainable societies,” so local Omani residents were invited, too, to join in on the EV festivities, with opportunities to drive EVs and quiz EV experts. Students at Sultan Qaboos University also took a turn at the EVs.
At one time, tax incentives seemed the only mechanism to persuade people to purchase EVs. Maybe, after having the chance to learn about them personally through the Global EVRT, people will gain sufficient background knowledge about the benefits of EVs to their lives and the earth, and EVs as a viable transportation option will be self-sustaining.
Shout out to the Times of Oman.
Note: Two CleanTechnica writers, Carolyn Fortuna and Steve Hanley, were part of the 2018 Global EVRT to the Middle East. This is one of a series of stories they wrote about their experiences exposing people to the concept of EVs. Site director Zach Shahan was also part of the launch event and joined the initial leg of the road trip briefly.
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