The electric car revolution is well under way around the world, with many brands, from Tesla to Porsche, committing to releasing new models that do not require a trip to the petrol station.
The available options for car buyers in the UAE are increasing against the backdrop of the Emirates’ Net Zero by 2050 initiative, which calls for Dh600 billion ($163.37bn) to be invested in clean and renewable energy sources in the next three decades.
Among those options is a new player in the UAE market — Swedish premium electric car brand Polestar, which has unveiled the Polestar 2 sedan in the country.
Here is all you need to know about its presence in the UAE:
How much is the Polestar 2?
In the UAE, Polestar 2 prices start from Dh161,900 ($44,084) for the standard-range single-motor version, with one electric motor with 231 horsepower, 330 newton-metres (Nm) of torque and a 69-kilowatt battery pack providing up to 444 kilometres of electric range.
The long-range single motor version is priced from Dh200,900, and comes with a larger, 78kW battery and up to 540km of electric range.
A third long-range dual motor variant costs upwards of Dh210,900 and features all-wheel drive with a total output of 408hp, 660Nm of torque, and up to 482km of electric range with a 78kW battery.
How does that compare with the price of a Tesla?
Favourably, if you are looking to spend fewer dirhams.
The Tesla Model 3 starts at Dh184,990 in the UAE and offers an electric range of 491km. However, the estimated delivery time is February 2023, according to Tesla’s website. The company is facing supply chain challenges.
Where is the Polestar 2 available in the UAE?
Polestar now has its first dedicated retail outlet in the UAE, and, in line with the brand itself, it is all very cutting edge.
The Store of the Future, or Polestar Space, as it has been called, has opened in Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates, giving prospective customers the chance to get a close look at the Swedish vehicle and potentially book a test drive.
“Polestar Space is the perfect setting to showcase the cutting-edge, sustainable design and advanced technologies of Polestar 2," said Jonathan Pollock from Al-Futtaim Trading Enterprises, the vehicle’s UAE distributor.
Al-Futtaim Automotive, one of the UAE’s main vehicle distributors teamed up with Polestar to launch online sales in March.
It opened a pop-up shop in Dubai's City Walk. It is on the main boulevard in Building 10, and is open daily from 9am to 9pm.
What’s this about a vegan interior?
Yes, Polestar is big on sustainability.
“We have revisited materials and processes that go into making Polestar 2, introducing updates that reduce the climate impact and increase material traceability of this award-winning car," said Polestar chief executive Thomas Ingenlath.
“These are important additions to how we can improve cars over their lifetime, not just with functionality and design updates but addressing sustainability and carbon footprint as well.”
So, there is a choice of either vegan WeaveTech upholstery or ventilated Napa leather.
Does Polestar have any other models?
There is the Polestar 1, but it is not available in the UAE. This model is a plug-in hybrid, which means it has both a four-cylinder engine and three electric motors.
The Swedish car brand plans to launch one new EV a year from 2022, starting with Polestar 3, its first electric SUV. Polestar 4, a smaller electric SUV coupe, is expected to be launched next year.
The Polestar 5 electric-performance, four-door GT is set to be released in 2024.
What other electric cars can you buy in the UAE?
Some of the electric cars available in the UAE at present include the Tesla Model S/X/3, the Chevrolet Bolt EV, the Audi e-tron, the Mercedes-Benz EQC, the MG ZS EV and the Renault ZOE. The Mercedes EQE will arrive on the market in the third quarter and has a range of up to 671km.
Priced from Dh105,000 ($28,590), the MG ZS is the cheapest EV on the market.
Tesla, the world’s biggest EV maker, opened its first Middle East showroom in Dubai in July 2017.
The Roads and Transport Authority in Dubai plans to make public transport emission-free by 2050. It has offered EV owners free parking slots and free Salik road toll tags in the emirate. More than 750 charging stations have been set up in the UAE.
A Dubai company that invests in technology, M Glory Holding, is opening an EV manufacturing plant.
The Dh1.5 billion factory in Dubai Industrial City, which will occupy 93,000 square metres, will be one of the largest in the Middle East. It aims to make 55,000 EVs a year as demand for green mobility rises, the company said.
M Glory has also introduced Al Damani DMV300, its first fully electric car. The venture is expected to create 1,000 jobs.
Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi will host the Mena region’s first EV summit from May 23 to May 25.
Do UAE drivers who choose EVs save money?
EV owners have travelled more than 58 million kilometres since 2015, while cutting refuelling costs by about three quarters, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority said.
The utility company’s EV Green Charger Initiative has provided more than 8,800 megawatt-hours — equivalent to the annual energy capture of some wind turbines — to its users, Dewa said.
— This story has been updated from an earlier version first published on April 28, 2022