German engineering group Siemens is open to signing more deals with car makers to build electric vehicle chargers and related infrastructure in the UAE.
The company, which signed an agreement with the UAE’s Ministry of Energy and Audi to build a nationwide network of EV chargers in June, is looking to strike similar partnerships as a growing number of UAE motorists switch to electric cars, Franco Atassi, chief executive of smart infrastructure at Siemens Middle East, told The National.
“We have become true partners of a lot of entities here, including auto manufacturers,” Mr Atassi said.
As part of its deal with the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, Siemens will set up 10 Sicharge D 160-kilowatt ultra-fast chargers on the motorways in Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah.
Such developments will “motivate” motorists to purchase and drive EVs, said Mr Atassi.
“The infrastructure is still young, but we see mall and high-rise residential developers incorporating infrastructure for EV charging as they are designing and building,” Mr Atassi said.
“Growth is going to be exponential.”
The UAE is among the world's top 10 countries as a market that is geared towards electric mobility, a report has found, according to Arthur D Little.
The country’s electric vehicle market, which is currently in its early stages, is projected to grow at an annual rate of 30 per cent between 2022 and 2028, according to the Global Electric Mobility Readiness Index 2022 compiled by the consultancy.
While there is a government-backed effort to build EV infrastructure, high prices have deterred drivers from switching to electric cars. But the entry of new players in the industry and a recent sharp rise in fuel prices have made EVs more desirable.
Electric cars will soon be within the reach of the “average Joe”, said Mr Atassi.
“The technology has ramped up, the batteries are better and more manufacturers are now in the [EV] race,” Mr Atassi said.
A 2020 Consumer Reports study showed that EV owners spend 60 per cent less on fuel than owners of internal combustion engine vehicles.
Owning an EV would save the typical driver $6,000 to $10,000 over the life of the vehicle, compared with owning a comparable petrol-powered vehicle, the study found.