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Sustainable6 ways the Middle East is embracing the electric vehicle

Electric vehicle production and purchasing are surging worldwide, and this isn’t slowing down anytime soon. The Middle East’s more affluent GCC countries are bringing the region closer to Western market trends. In the UAE, which is the second Middle Eastern nation to host the United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP 28, in 2023, the number of electric cars in Dubai alone increased by over 7,000 percent from 2015 to 2022. Rising petrol...
Issa SalemJune 23, 202212 min
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Electric vehicle production and purchasing are surging worldwide, and this isn’t slowing down anytime soon. The Middle East’s more affluent GCC countries are bringing the region closer to Western market trends. In the UAE, which is the second Middle Eastern nation to host the United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP 28, in 2023, the number of electric cars in Dubai alone increased by over 7,000 percent from 2015 to 2022. Rising petrol prices, national net zero pledges and a more environmentally conscious generation of consumers have all contributed to the rise. Saudi Arabia for instance — while once heavily oil dependent — aims for at least 30 percent of its cars to be electric powered by 2030, following its pledge to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2060. Here’s our roundup of what else is happening.

1) Lucid – Saudi Partnership

Lucid EV Riyadh electric vehicles
New Lucid Motors showroom in Riyadh/Shutterstock

American electric car manufacturer, Lucid, is opening its first international plant in Saudi Arabia, aiming to bring advanced automotive manufacturing to the kingdom to address global demand. The plant will be capable of producing 150,000 vehicles per year at the King Abdullah Economic City, bringing several thousand highly skilled jobs to Saudi Arabia and supporting skills development for the region. The Lucid Air, the company’s first production, sells from Dh321,018.89 (US$87,400) and features a single-motor system with 480 horsepower with an impressive 650 kms of range.

2) Oman launches the Mays iE1

Mais iE1 electric vehicles
Image courtesy of Mays

In cooperation with the Oman Technology Fund, the Omani automaker Mays Motors has launched the Sultanate’s first electric car. Named Mays iE1, the EV is priced at RO 25,000 (Dh238,511.62), with over 100 units having already been pre-booked during the first stage of production. This marks a new and promising sector for the Sultanate as well as the opportunity to establish the first factory for the electronic car industry in the country with an investment of RO 5mn. The co-founder of Mays Motors, Haider bin Adnan al Zaabi, describes the iE1 as being “loaded with a lot of technology similar to international brands such as Lamborghini and Ferrari”. And what makes it stand out is its carbon fiber body, five-second 0-100 km/h time capability and impressive 500+ kilometer range. Production will start at the end of 2023 from the company’s factory in Barka, Oman.

3) Polestar opens first retail outlet for its electric cars in UAE

Polestar 2 in Polestar Space Mall of the Emirates
The Polestar 2 at the Polestar Space in Mall of the Emirates, Dubai. Image courtesy of Polestar

The Polestar is the latest brand of electric vehicle to launch in the Middle East, and it now has opened its first dedicated showroom in the UAE. Located in Mall of the Emirates in Dubai, the Swedish automaker has dubbed its cutting-edge showroom as the Polestar Space, which is the first outlet in the country that will solely feature the recent arrival of the Polestar 2, the model currently available in the UAE. Only 30,000 units have been sold worldwide, making the Polestar 2 perfect for those seeking exclusivity. Range, power as well as performance are no exception. There are currently three options available, including the standard motor that boasts 440 km of range, makes 224 horsepower, and accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 7.4 seconds. The long-range single motor has an impressive 540 km of range and 231 horsepower that also takes 7.4 seconds to reach 100 km/h. And finally, the long-range dual motor offers a range of 480 km with 408 horsepower and a low 0-100 time of 4.8 seconds. Prices start at Dh161,800.

4) Take a look at Al Damani’s DMV300, the all-Emirati EV

Al Damani DMV300
M Glory Holding’s new Al Damani DMV300/Courtesy Al Damani

The Dubai-based investment company M Glory Holding recently unveiled the Al Damani DMV300, the first all-Emirati EV. The vehicle has a battery capacity of 52.7 kWh and can travel a distance of 405 kilometers on a single charge. The company announced it will produce 55,000 of the cars annually at an EV production facility in Dubai Industrial City, with the starting price of Dh127,452.58.

 5) Check out Emirati company Barq’s eco-friendly delivery vehicles

An end-to-end drone solution by Barq, the Yas 1
An end-to-end drone solution by Barq, the Yas 1. Image courtesy of WAM News Agency

The Emirati company Barq EV — founded by friends and business partners Ahmed Al Mazroui and Abdullah Abu Sheikh — has launched with three new products, including an eco-friendly moped for food delivery. The moped has a range of 25 kilometers, a cooling system for handlebars, windshield that reflects heat and a smart dashboard that helps drivers navigate deliveries without using their phones. The other new products launched are an electric bicycle and a drones. The company broke two Guinness World Records in 2021 by executing the longest flight of a drone for the delivery service at 13.584 km, and the longest non-stop return flight for a drone at 18.065 km. BARQ EV is the first licensed Drone delivery service provider in the UAE, helping pave the way to making the transport and logistics sector more sustainable and efficient.

6) Fast-charging stations for Abu Dhabi

Pulse EV charging stations Abu Dhabi
Image courtesy Pulse

The UAE-based smart-mobility provider Pulse announced it will install 100 fast electric vehicle charging stations across Abu Dhabi in the run-up to the UN Climate Change Conference in 2023. This is the first fast-charging network in the capital, taking 15 to 75 minutes to charge for an average range of 400km. The chargers will be found in community Mawaqif parking lots near parks, cafes and restaurants. Pulse reported that to date, its chargers have powered more than 50,000 clean kilometers, reducing 12 tons of carbon emissions. Abu Dhabi has put forward an ambitious target to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

Issa Salem

Issa handles multimedia at livehealthy.ae and got involved in fitness and healthy living after graduating high school. The sedentary lifestyle and junk food diet of his teen years had taken a toll on his wellbeing. Now, he makes sure to put his health first. Issa earned his bachelor’s in marketing and has since found his passion in media and arts.

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