Dubai sets ambitious goals for electric vehicles. Electric car users can receive free parking, do not pay tolls and get a reduced registration fee.
Even the car charging power is free at 200 charging stations that the government has built around the city. However, the problem is that the people of the city of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) still do not consider the above incentives.
According to Bloomberg, many Dubai auto dealers say the biggest group of buyers of electric cars is the government, with hundreds of electric cars sold to local governments over the past few years. The popular electric car brand on the streets of Dubai is Tesla, which costs from 335,730 dirham, equivalent to 91,400 USD.
The economic benefits of owning electric cars are not strong in the UAE, one of the most affordable petrol places. It costs about 41 USD to fill up a 60.5 liter fuel tank in Dubai, while in the US it costs 50 USD while in Norway it costs 125 USD. This is part of the reason electric and hybrid cars are booming in Norway, but they are not being considered in Dubai.
In addition, the weather in Dubai is also the hottest in the world. Air conditioning, which is needed in the summer, often drains the battery of electric vehicles, reducing the range of the vehicle. “Unless you have someone who really wants to protect the environment, encourage consumers to buy cars”, says Bill Carter of Autodata Middle East, who specializes in providing data and pricing for the auto industry. There is not much motivation to choose an electric car”.
Daily trips in Dubai often cross the 16-lane highway in some areas. “The highways in Dubai and the UAE can be scary, so people prefer to use bigger cars. If you want an electric car to be well received, it must have many models that suit the tastes and wallets of many people”, said Karim El-Jisr, director of SEE Nexus Institute in Dubai.
Consulting Alf Ellefsen, who drives a Jaguar, said: “Electric cars in Norway cost almost nothing to run. Here, you can buy a car that is half the price of a car in Norway, and run the car for only a quarter of the price. So, why pay extra to buy an electric car?”
Still, the Dubai government estimates the city will have 32,000 streetcars by 2020 if carmakers roll out the right model to sell in the emirate of 3 million people. Dubai currently has 4,000 hybrid and electric vehicles, including less than 1,000 fully electric cars.
When Renault started selling Zoe electric cars three years ago, its first customer was the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, followed by the Dubai Police and many other government agencies and utilities. Retailing is less successful. Tesla, which declined to provide regional sales figures, is taking orders for the cheaper Model 3 sedan, launched next year. Road Transport Dubai said it would buy 200 Tesla cars to integrate into the fleet of 5,000 cars.
Some of the first electric vehicle charging points were installed in 2015 in Dubai Sustainable City. However, 2,700 residents in this area only use 15 Tesla, not any other electric car.