Dubai launches incentives to boost use of electric, hybrid cars

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Dubai’s energy and road transport regulators got together on Sunday to launch their most ambitious initiative yet to encourage the community to use electric and hybrid vehicles, and promote the use of sustainable transport, which will have a lower average annual energy consumption rate.

The announcement was made at a press conference held at the Armani hotel, Dubai, attended by Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Vice Chairman of the Supreme Council of Energy and MD&CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA).

The incentives to encourage the public use of electric vehicles in Dubai was a joint initiative by DEWA and the Road and Transport Authority (RTA).

Senior officials from other key government departments were also present during the press conference.

Key incentives

A number of incentives to promote electric vehicles were announced as part of the policy by the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy (DSEC).

DEWA’s registered users will be able to have their electric vehicles charged by DEWA’s Green Charger electric vehicle charging stations, completely free. This incentive will last until the end of 2019. This will be exclusive to public charging stations, and does not include home charging stations.

The RTA will also provide incentives for electric vehicles, including free assigned parking, exemption from RTA electric vehicle registration and renewal fees, exemption from Salik’s tag fee, and arranging a special sticker for number plates.

Dubai officials with electric car and charging station during a press conference in Dubai. (Supplied)
Dubai officials with electric car and charging station during a press conference in Dubai. (Supplied)

According to Al Tayer, this policy is in line with “the UAE National Agenda leading to the UAE Vision 2021 to create a sustainable environment for air quality, conserve water resources, increase clean energy and green development, and the objectives of the Dubai Plan 2021, to make Dubai a smart, sustainable and innovative city in managing its resources, improving its quality of life, and consolidating its position as a global model for green economy.”

He said that the Supreme Council of Energy issued directive number 1 of 2016 to set a target for government institutions.

Therefore, at least 10 percent of all newly-purchased cars will be electric or hybrid from 2016 to 2020. The proportion of electric and hybrid cars will rise to 2 percent by 2020, and 10 percent by 2030.

Green vision

As part of the Green vision, he noted that DEWA had launched the Green Charger initiative in 2014, to build the infrastructure for electric vehicle charging stations all over Dubai. By the end of 2015, 100 charging stations have been set up. Work is currently on for installing 100 more charging stations to bring the total number to 200 in 2018.

The tariff for charging electric vehicles by Green Chargers is 29 fils per kilowatt. “This is a significant saving, compared to fuel-powered cars. Due to these efforts, the electric car sector has grown by about 30% between 2014 and 2016,” pointed out Al Tayer.

This is based on the plans and programmes we have implemented, and the strategy to encourage customers to use electric cars and hybrid vehicles, and promote the use of sustainable transport, which will lead to a reduced annual energy consumption rate,” concluded Al Tayer.

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