Saudi Arabia wants 30% of vehicles on Riyadh's roads to be electric by 2030

The target is part of a broader strategy to slash emissions by 50% in the capital in nine years

New office space reveals views across the city skyline in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Monday, Feb. 10, 2020. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is trying to reshape the kingdom into the new place to do business. Photographer: Maya Anwar Siddiqui/Bloomberg
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Saudi Arabia, the world's largest exporter of crude, plans to ensure that 30 per cent of the vehicles on the roads of Riyadh are electric by 2030, following its pledge to reach net zero by 2060.

The target is part of a broader strategy to slash carbon emissions by 50 per cent in the kingdom's capital in nine years, said Fahd Al-Rasheed, president of the Royal Commission for Riyadh City.

The country, which pledged on Saturday to become carbon neutral by 2060, also plans to more than double its annual emissions reduction target to 278 million tonnes by 2030.

The scope of reductions covers Saudi Arabia's domestic territory and does not extend to those released from the use of its crude products in other locations.

The kingdom plans to curtail its own emissions by adopting electric vehicles, which its former energy minister Khalid Al Falih, once dismissed as "hype".

Globally, the adoption of EVs is on the rise, with more than 10 million battery-powered vehicles on the road in 2020, according to the Paris-based International Energy Agency.

EV car registrations are on the rise despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the policy think tank said.

Saudi Arabia's green initiatives represent investments of more than 700 billion Saudi riyals ($186.6bn) that will create major opportunities for the private sector, boost job creation and help to develop a green economy.

It also plans to join the Global Methane Pledge to contribute to cutting global methane emissions by 30 per cent from 2020 levels, by 2030.

Updated: October 24, 2021, 9:56 AM