Dubai mulls incentives to switch e-cars

Dubai is changing gear - and changing it fast – to encourage residents to switch to environment-friendly electric and hybrid vehicles in the emirate. In order to achieve this ambitious target, the emirate is looking to offer incentives and perks to encourage private car owners and companies with large fleets to buy more electric and hybrid cars.

According to new Dubai Green Mobility Initiative Committee, which will report to the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, cars to be ordered in the next few years by selected Dubai government bodies maintaining huge transportation fleets will be 10 per cent electric and hybrid vehicles in the next few years.

The committee was formed to achieve the set targets of reducing carbon emissions and greenhouse gases in Dubai within the next four years.

To support the Dubai Plan 2020 and the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority’s (Dewa) Green Charger initiative aims to establish electric vehicle charging stations across Dubai, with 100 charging stations having already been installed since 2015, said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Managing Director and CEO of Dewa.

“We will work to increase the percentage of hybrid cars in the Emirate, and contribute towards a 16 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2020. Reductions are expected to continue in the near future,” said Al Tayer.

He noted that the Dubai Green Mobility initiative’s executive and technical committees comprise energy and environmental experts from Dewa, Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Dubai Police, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Airports, Dubai Civil Defence, Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, and Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (Esma).

Incentives and Perks

“10% of all newly produced vehicles will comprise electric and hybrid cars. Dubai is taking great steps towards achieving this goal. Dubai roads will witness major changes in coming years. The market for hybrid and electric vehicles will attract more electric and hybrid car manufacturers, and will encourage all citizens and residence to make use of environmentally-friendly vehicles,” added Al Tayer.

“The new committees are working on new ideas to create government incentives to encourage people to buy electric cars instead of traditional petrol-powered vehicles. Giving special perks to electric-car owners could ensure that the Emirate has cleaner air and transforms to a greener economy. This is a new boost. We are speaking with the involved Dubai Government entities to give incentives to the owners of the EVs (electric vehicles) to encourage them to make the switch,” continued Al Tayer.

“Dubai is exerting all efforts to protect the environment, which involves the adoption of new technologies that have been designed to facilitate the use of electric cars on a daily basis, on crowded roads and streets in Dubai. Current fast electric chargers in the petrol stations, for example, can take up to 20 minutes and about 6-8 hours for lower-output home chargers that plug into the vehicle from the home’s electric system, thus the importance of new technologies arise.

“This is expected to result in a huge step towards developing a fast charging processes, including advanced technology that charges a vehicle while it is parked and connected to wireless chargers, without the need to plug in cumbersome cords or wires. The car is stopped on a map point that has the advanced technology to charge the battery of electric cars without using wires. We are currently studying the ability to bring this technology to Dubai,” added Al Tayer.

Dubai has implemented 100 electric-car charging stations with more promised in the months ahead, depending on the uptake of the vehicles and requests from concerned stakeholders.

Some government bodies, such as Dewa, have already purchased a number of electric cars for its fleet for everyday use. Dewa was the first government entity in Dubai to add 100% electric vehicles to its fleet by adopting 13 electric vehicles in 2015-2016. Electric vehicle owners can now sign-up to obtain an EV Green Charger Card to be used at charging points that are spread around the Emirate, helping make Dubai the happiest and smartest city in the world.

Dubai team reviews experience of Netherlands and Germany

A delegation from the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has recently visited the Dutch capital Amsterdam, and the German city Stuttgart to get familiarised with the experience of the two cities in smart mobility and autonomous driving.

The move is part of the smart mobility strategy aimed at converting 25 per cent of total mobility journeys in Dubai into self-driving journeys by 2030.

Adel Shakri, Director of Transportation Systems, RTA said, "During the visit to Amsterdam, the delegation was acquainted with the self-driving Future Bus fitted with sensors enabling automated speed control matching the approved road speed. The speed is automatically adjusted according to the approved speed limits observed in the shuttle routes."

The delegation also reviewed the experience of car2go Company in smart shared car rental. The system is made available to public transport users offering them smooth mobility to and from public transport stations.

The delegation was also acquainted with the Movil company model via a smart app offering an integrated platform for all transit means, an experience that can be of benefit to the RTA’s project of creating an integrated platform for mobility modes in the emirate through a single app bringing together all the RTA’s transit services namely the metro, tram, buses, marine transit means and taxis.

"Overseas visits stem from the RTA’s strategy aimed at benefiting from international practices of the public transport industry. Such a policy will enable the fruition of the RTA’s first strategic goal (Smart Dubai), second strategic goal (Integrated Dubai), and the third strategic goal (People Happiness), which all epitomise the RTA’s vision of Safe and Smooth Transport for All," Shakri added.