In a major announcement by the Dubai government aimed at promoting the use of zero-emission vehicles, a team of experts requested a federal subsidy program and an integrated charging platform.
On Sunday, the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy (DSCE) announced a series of incentives to promote the use of zero-electric vehicles, including free charging until 2019, free parking at designated green parking spaces, free Salik tag and free car registration.
“The pack of incentives announced in Dubai recently is a great step forward but more needs to be done if we actually need to see a green mobility solution. In the West, the authorities have announced tax exemption, subsidised prices of electric cars as well as allowing the electric cars to use priority lanes” said Samer Alawiye, Smart Parking CEO and one of the speakers at the conference. Martin Tillman, director of Transport Planning at Aecom, agreed.
Tillman added that the availability of infrastructure is important but for people to use these facilities is more important.
“In London, for example, the electric vehicles are exempted from the congestion tax as well as the road toll, we could have something similar here, which would be a great incentive,” he added.
One of the highlights of many of the experts at the conference was the integration of facilities.
“Having the charging stations and incentives in one emirate alone will not be enough. We will need to have the stations in all emirates and more importantly the payment system for all emirates should be the same, which means a Dubai resident should be able to conveniently charge in Abu Dhabi and vice versa, without having to access two different payment systems,” Said Fatmah Al Hantoubi, lead officer of Transportation Mobility, at the Abu Dhabi Department of Municipal Affairs and Transport.
Suggesting an integration approach, Alawiye said a standard mobile app that provides access to all stations across the country could be one of the solutions.
“What authorities can do is that they can launch a unified app and the registered users could be allowed to charge from any part of the country, the local authorities can then send the charging bill to the electricity authority where the user is based so that they can charge the user accordingly,” he said.
The federal government has authorized all its ministries and federal agencies to convert 10 percent of their fleet to EVs while the long-term plan is to replace 20 percent of all government vehicles to EVs.
In Dubai, the government has authorized all its departments and agencies to install 10 percent EV on its fleet by 2020.
According to DSCE, an estimated 2,100 EVs will be joining the Dubai Government fleet by 2020.
DSCE also aims to convert 2 percent to zero emission, with an estimated 34,000 expected to hit the streets of Dubai by 2020.
Currently, Dubai has 274 EVs and 431 hybrid vehicles registered in the emirate.