Dubai motorists' interest in owning EVs set to outpace European counterparts

19 per cent in the emirate plan to purchase an electric vehicle within the next 12 months, compared to 16 per cent in Europe

Dubai aims to establish 1,000 public charging stations for electric vehicles by 2025, which would boost consumer interest in shifting to the next generation of transport. Pawan Singh / The National
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Motorists in Dubai are showing a growing interest in acquiring an electric vehicle, and this trend is projected to outpace that in Europe, a new survey has shown.

About one in five persons, or 19 per cent, in the emirate plan to purchase an EV within the next 12 months, compared to 16 per cent in Europe, Bloomberg Intelligence said in a study released on Thursday.

Tesla, the world's biggest EV manufacturer, is on top of the Dubai consumer wishlist with 21 per cent preferring the US brand, followed by two of Germany's biggest carmakers, Mercedes (15 per cent) and BMW (12 per cent), it said.

Regional loyalty, however, is evident in Europe, where consumers prefer Mercedes and BMW to Tesla, the report added.

Concerns over owning an EV between Dubai and European motorists also diverge. While those in the emirate pointed out high prices and battery degradation as their main worry, those in the continent stressed issues with the lack of charging infrastructure and range anxiety, Mike Dean, a senior auto industry analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, wrote in the report.

About 81 per cent of Dubai respondents deem EV prices as "too high", the survey said.

Delivery waiting is also a major concern for those in the emirate, with 42 per cent saying they would switch brands if they had to wait longer than three months for delivery, and this goes up to 74 per cent if it goes beyond six months, it said.

"Concerns over long waiting times for delivery are likely to lessen as supply constraints ease though remain an issue. For Tesla buyers, charging infrastructure becomes a secondary concern given they can enjoy supercharger stations throughout the UAE," Mr Dean said.

In June, the UAE announced plans for 50 per cent of cars to be EVs by 2050. And, as of May, the UAE had converted around 20 per cent of its government agency cars and is aiming for 42,000 on the roads by 2030.

Where to charge your EV in Dubai

With the growing EV ownership, a number of charging stations have popped up across Dubai, with 620 in place by the end of last year. The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority has said it aims to establish 1,000 public charging stations by 2025.

The EV market continues to grow amid a global shift towards energy conservation, with car makers' consumer and commercial divisions tapping into the technology's potential.

Global car makers have been engaged in a race to electrify their vehicles as they press ahead with strategies to drive the next phase of mobility.

This means billions of dollars in investment, apart from the creation of new jobs and pledges to meet sustainability goals.

Global EV sales spiked 49 per cent to 6.2 million units in the first half of 2023, the latest data from Canalys had shown.

Texas-based Tesla maintained its lead, surging 65 per cent year-on-year and selling more than 935,000 vehicles in the six months ended June, it said.

The value of the global EV market is expected to hit nearly $952 billion by 2030, from an estimated $388 billion in 2023, growing at a compound annual rate of 13.7 per cent, according to research firm Markets and Markets.

Hybrid vehicles, those that run on both petrol and electricity, are the most popular EV in the Bloomberg Intelligence survey, with 34 per cent of respondents preferring these, it said.

Brand-wise, hybrid electric vehicles are dominated by Toyota, which has a notable cost advantage due to economies of scale, while Mercedes, BMW and Porsche are expected to benefit from demand for plug-in hybrids, it said.

"Brand loyalty is key as automakers look to shield market shares against entrants such as Tesla and lower-cost Chinese BEVs," Bloomberg Intelligence said.

Updated: November 24, 2023, 4:06 AM