Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) Distribution plans to increase the number of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations across the emirate to 20 to meet the anticipated rise in petrol-alternative cars.
EVs are expected to make headway in the country after the arrival of American car maker Tesla earlier this month. Abu Dhabi currently has 12 EV charging stations.
Saeed Al Rashdi, the acting chief executive of Adnoc Distribution, told The National that it had already started outfitting its Yas service station with a solar-powered electric charger, which will use power from the grid as backup for times when the sun isn't shining.
“We are planning to extend the installation of similar chargers to seven other service stations – the Al Mushrif, Rabdan, Khalifa City-South, Abu Dhabi Corniche, Souk Al Batten, Samha-1 and Samha-2,” he said.
Adnoc has also concluded a joint survey with Tesla on the viability of installing chargers at service stations but no details have been released.
Mr Al Rashdi said: “In view of the potential growth of electric car and hybrid usage, we are moving ahead with the early development of support infrastructure for such vehicles.”
While EVs were already in the UAE thanks to companies such as Renault, the debut of Tesla has resulted in an infrastructure race to meet potential demand. The American car maker opened a pop-up shop in Dubai Mall, with a Tesla Ranger support and service centre to open in July. The chief executive, Elon Musk, said that a shop and service centre would also open in Abu Dhabi next year.
The UAE has at least 85 charging stations, according to research by The National. In addition to Abu Dhabi's 12, Dubai has 68 and there are five charging stations in Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah.
There are three different types of chargers: AC Level 1 (slow, such as a wall socket), AC Level 2 (medium, between two and four hours) and DC fast charging (fast, less than 30 minutes).
For the slow charging wall socket at a home, UAE users will pay rates based on residential tariffs set out by the respective utility, the same way powering lights or devices is calculated in monthly electricity bills.
For a Tesla Model S owner in the capital averaging 20,000 kilometres a year, the annual cost for charging the battery at home is 70 to 90 per cent cheaper than fuelling a conventional car, ranging from about Dh281 for a national to Dh1,144 for an expat.
For public charging stations in Abu Dhabi, private entities that own them will determine prices, according to the Abu Dhabi Distribution Company (ADDC). Potential station owners will need to contact ADDC so the distributor can confirm viability and inspect facilities.
In Dubai, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) will be in charge of every station, with public charging areas priced at 29 fils per kilowatt hour.
If a Tesla Model S owner only uses Dewa-provided public charging stations, it will cost about Dh1,088 a year for 20,000km. This is half of what it would cost to fuel a 2017 BMW 5 Series sedan, which will run about Dh2,000 to Dh3,600 with petrol prices averaging Dh2 per litre.
The National will update the charging station list for EV owners. Please send any new station information to email@example.com.
Follow The National's Business section on Twitter