DUBAI // A convoy of electric cars will set out on a road trip early next year as part of a drive to spread awareness about the technology.
The Electric Vehicle Road Trip will cover all seven emirates and make stop-offs to host workshops in communities and universities. The aim is to promote the use of electric cars and encourage the installation of infrastructure such as charging stations.
The trip will begin on January 11 at Masdar City, near Abu Dhabi airport, and travel north and then east to Fujairah before arriving back in the capital on January 16 in time for the World Future Energy Summit.
So far, seven electric cars – all Teslas – have been signed up for the event and organisers hope to encourage more drivers and other car companies to join in.
“We are hoping this effort will drive low-carbon transport and drive towards a more sustainable future,” said Liam Callaghan, a spokesman for the road trip.
“What we are trying to achieve is that by the time the cars arrive at the World Future Energy Summit, people will be familiar with electric vehicles and the technology.
“We’re hoping that people who traditionally use a lot of combustion engines will see the opportunity offered by electric vehicles.
“Knowledge about sustainability will help building of infrastructure and a subsidy provided to help companies develop these technologies.”
The participating Teslas can travel between 280 to 400 kilometres on a single charge.
While a charging station will be provided at Masdar, organisers plan to arrange charging units at different locations.
Participants will also carry portable charging units to power the cars, Mr Callaghan said.
A super charge at a charge station takes 30 minutes to power the battery, while a normal charge takes up to four hours.
Electric cars run solely on battery power.
There are about 200 hybrid taxis on Dubai’s roads, with the first such vehicles introduced three years ago. The hybrids are powered by a combination of electricity and petrol.
Electric cars are being tested in pilot projects but figures are not available on the number of hybrid and electric vehicle users.