A convoy of nearly a dozen electric vehicles set out on a 700km long road trip through all seven Emirates of the UAE on Sunday, to mark the start of the first Emirates Electric Vehicle Road Trip (Emirates EVRT), further driving the UAE towards a more sustainable future.
The four-day trip will showcase the best of electric vehicle technology, with three new charging stations, supplied by ENGIE, being unveiled at the Marjan Island Hotel in Ras al-Khaimah, the Novotel Hotel in Fujairah and the Sofitel Corniche Hotel in Abu Dhabi.
Ben Pullen, Founder and Managing Director of Global EVRT – the company which has brought the road trip to the Emirates for the first time – says that an event such as the Emirates EVRT is important for the development of the electric vehicle industry.
"The UAE is at a very early stage when it comes to the electric vehicle industry, when compared to other countries in Europe, for example. Aspects like the number of dealers selling electric vehicles in the UAE needs to increase, insurance options need to be developed, banks and financing options need to be improved, and buying and installing charging stations needs to become more coherent for the consumer.
"Through our event we have strategically selected partners to accelerate the development of the industry, to enable the transition to a sustainable future which is long overdue. ENGIE as our green mobility and charging station partner, The Sustainable City as our sustainable living partner, AXA as our insurance partner, Emirates NBD as our bank partner, and AccorHotels as our hospitality partner - all of these partners have a crucial role to play the in the success of the electric vehicle industry in the UAE," says Pullen.
Shayne Nelson, Group CEO, Emirates NBD, official bank partner of Emirates EVRT, says, "As a signatory to the United Nations Environment Programme Dubai Declaration on Sustainable Finance, Emirates NBD is committed to transforming the UAE into a green, low-carbon economy. We are thus proud to sponsor the Emirates EVRT, a remarkable initiative aimed at galvanising the adoption of electric vehicles in the country. Being the largest auto-finance provider in the region, we fully endorse a platform that pushes forward the sustainable agenda of the UAE Vision 2021, and represents a greener future for the residents of the nation."
The journey began at Burj Al Arab Jumeirah in Dubai on Sunday, 29th January. The fleet that took off on the trip comprised state-of-the-art Tesla Model X and Model S vehicles, Renault Zoe models and a Volkswagen Retrofitted Electric Car. The vehicles will transport 40 individuals around the UAE until Wednesday, 1st February. The event draws to a close at The Sustainable City with a Grand Finale including an electric vehicle conference and parade, where UAE electric vehicle owners will join the main convoy and showcase more cars.
The aim of the inaugural trip is to drive electric vehicle adoption in the UAE and accelerate the transition towards a sustainable low-carbon future. Pullen explains, "We believe there are many potential driving forces out there that will enable the UAE to fast-track their exposure to this industry, and that the country will certainly jump to the level of its peers across the world in the very near future.
"This trip, coupled with the installation of these charging stations, will open up the roads of the UAE to over 750km of electric vehicle driving. This is a great way to kick off 2017, which we believe is the year when the UAE will cement its foundations for electric vehicles as it gets ready for an exciting few years in the run up to Expo 2020. An era of electric vehicle adoption, infrastructure installation, and technology innovation awaits."
"ENGIE is committed to promoting low carbon energy like gas and renewables as well as changing consumers’ transportation habits through the development of cleaner and more sustainable energy solutions to reduce overall CO2 emissions from transport," says Sbastien Arbola, CEO of ENGIE Middle East, South & Central Asia and Turkey.
"Globally, the company is leading the way in terms of greener mobility solutions, including urban planning advisory services, smart parking and transportation systems, charging solutions for electric vehicles, managing systems for public transport and innovative solutions such as car sharing and smart parking."