About 29% of UAE residents would consider buying an electric vehicle, survey finds

Four out of 10 residents believe the country’s infrastructure is conducive to electric vehicles

Electric cars on display during the launch of an electric car charging station at Dewa headquarters in Garhoud in Dubai. Pawan Singh / The National
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About 29 per cent of UAE residents would consider buying an electric vehicle to contribute to narrowing emissions, a survey by Audi Abu Dhabi has found.

A similar percentage believe that EVs offer much better value for money in the longer run than conventional cars running on petrol or diesel. The survey of 1,000 UAE residents explored consumer sentiment and concerns towards EV adoption in the country.

A record fall in emissions due to coronavirus-induced travel restrictions last year led to growing awareness about the health of the planet, prompting policymakers to opt for a more sustainable recovery after Covid-19.

Electric car sales have benefited from this mindset shift, surging 140 per cent in the first quarter, according to the International Energy Agency.

Consumer spending on EVs hit $120 billion in 2020 while car registrations rose by 41 per cent amid the pandemic.

Charging infrastructure for EVs was important for residents to embrace low-emission vehicles, according to the Audi study. Around 29 per cent said they would consider buying EVs if the UAE had more charging stations.

A quarter of respondents also said they would be more encouraged to purchase an EV if the government offered incentives and fee exemptions.

Dubai and Abu Dhabi have both made efforts to encourage the use of EVs.

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority identified ground transport as the second-largest greenhouse gas emitter in the emirate.

Last year, Dewa registered a patent for a universal smart system for electric vehicle charging stations, as part of its green economy goals.

The new system developed by Dewa's Research and Development Centre can charge all types of electric vehicles with a single cable and plug.

The utility has already installed more than 270 green charging stations across Dubai.

Private electric vehicle owners registered for Dewa’s “Green Charger” services can charge their vehicles free until the end of 2021. Vehicles owned by companies, government and semi-governmental entities can charge for 29 fils/kWh.

In August, Abu Dhabi's Department of Energy said it would streamline tariffs for charging electric vehicles, as the adoption of cleaner forms of transportation picks up.

The emirate, which accounts for the bulk of the UAE's oil production, is encouraging fewer emissions on the roads. The UAE capital now has 200 charging units.

A monthly tariff of Dh92 ($25.05) will be added to the bills of EV users in Abu Dhabi, until a sub-meter for charging units in private residences and commercial buildings is installed.

Updated: September 05, 2021, 2:24 PM