Dubai: Users of electric vehicles could soon be offered a number of incentives, including a subsidised price for their favourite car, as the government of Dubai studies ways to promote the eco-friendly vehicles.
As part of the smart city initiative, Dubai is currently looking at various options to make electric vehicles more attractive to motorists, one of these being making these vehicles available at a subsidised rate, said Saeed Mohammad Al Tayer, Managing Director and CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa), speaking after the inauguration of the first public Electric Vehicle (EV) charging station at Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO).
“The Executive Council of Dubai is studying various proposals to encourage people to use eco-friendly vehicles. Having the infrastructure ready for charging the vehicles is a first step in this direction. Various other things are being looked at like reducing the customs duty or subsidising the cost for buyers,” said Al Tayer.
In February this year, Dewa launched 16 EV charging stations at its various premises, as part of its project to set up 100 EV stations across the city by the end of the year.
This is the first station outside Dewa premises and DSO is planning to have seven more EV stations in the next couple of years.
In the next step, DSO is also planning to have electric vehicles in its security patrol and facilities management fleet.
The public EV charger has the capacity to charge two vehicles at a time, with each having a capacity to fully charge a vehicle in two to four hours depending on the model of the vehicle.
A fully charged electric vehicle can, on average, run up to 100 kilometres, but the mileage could vary depending on the model of the vehicle, with some models running up to 300 kilometres.
“Electric vehicles have a 50 per cent reduction in fuel cost compared with conventional petrol vehicles, which itself is a big incentive to go for these vehicles and if the proposal of subsidy that is being studied is approved, it will be an added incentive for people,” said Eng Muammar Khalid Al Katheri, Executive Vice President, Engineer Management at DSO.
He added that Dewa’s reduced tariff of 29 fils per kW should also encourage people go for electric vehicles once there are enough EV stations across the city.
Highlighting some of the subsidies being studied he said: “In Europe and in the US there are subsidies at various levels if you own an electric vehicle, such as a waiver on customs duty, a discount at the dealership as well as reduced registration and testing charges. All these things are under study in Dubai as well and could be implemented soon.”
An average long-distance drive in an electric vehicle could roughly cost Dh7, half the cost of running a conventional vehicle.
Based on the published mileage of the fully electric Nissan Leaf or Tesla, which on average uses 21.25 kWh/100km, if the charging cost in Dubai is 29 fils per kWh, a Dubai owner may have to shell out Dh6.16 to cover 100km, or simply 0.06 fils per kilometre.
Dewa plans to have 83 more stations by the end of this year at various locations including highways, government buildings, malls, airports, parks, as well as other public places.
The charging stations will use solar power for a carbon-neutral option, making it a zero-emissions system.