UAE: 100 free, fast-charging EV units to be deployed across all emirates

Published on May 23, 2024

UAEV, the first electric vehicle (EV) charging network fully owned by the government, has been officially launched in Abu Dhabi with a network covering all seven emirates.

The joint venture between the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure (MoEI) and Etihad Water and Electricity (EtihadWE) aims to install 100 charging units by the end of this year and scale it to 1,000 by 2030.

The initiative expects to reduce 100,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions by 2030, which is equivalent to planting 1.8 million trees.

UAEV will offer 160kW fast-charging points, which will be publicly accessible to community members, including taxi drivers, with its strategic locations spread across the UAE.

It will be free of cost to use until the end of the year, and later price points will be finalised. The JV will support those who have already purchased an EV and make the prospect of switching to EVs attractive.

“EVs are the future of global mobility. Our communities are becoming more and more environmentally and ecologically conscious. They want greater choice and they want to play an active and positive role in a more sustainable future,” Eng. Sharif Al Olama, Undersecretary for Energy and Petroleum Affairs at MoEI and the chairman of UAEV told reporters during the launch event at the Electric Vehicle Innovation Summit at ADNEC.

Globally, the transition to EV is gathering pace. EV car sales have reached 10 million units in 2022 — five times higher than sales in 2019. The new partnership will ensure the UAE can meet the current demand for EV infrastructure and make it easier for UAE residents to go green.

“As we have embarked on a journey towards the widespread adoption of EVs, the availability and accessibility of charging stations become part of the infrastructure.”

Al Olama said that EV charging stations will be deployed in public spaces, workplaces, shopping centres, and residential areas. “We will ensure that drivers from all walks of life have easy access to charging facilities. These charging stations will also be fast and reliable.”

Badr Mohammad Rabia Al Awadhi, head of sustainability at EtihadWE, and UAEV programme lead, noted that the deployment of EV infrastructure presents significant economic opportunities, including job creation.

Yousif Ahmed Al Ali, CEO of Etihad Water and Electricity and board member of UAEV, underlined that the JV’s goal is to roll out 100 EV chargers by the end of 2024 and reach 1,000 units by 2030.

“We are convinced that the EV market in the UAE needs this momentum,” Eng. Al Ali said and revealed plans to install the charging units in malls, supermarkets, and governmental buildings.

“We will make it easy for users to charge their vehicles while they go about their daily activities. We will focus on fast and ultra-fast charging solutions. We believe this is crucial for accelerating the adoption of EVs in the UAE. These advanced charging options would meet customer demand for speed and convenience, making EV ownership more appealing and practical,” Eng Al Ali said and underlined that there will be a 24X7 customer service call centre and an app with all needed information of locations.

According to the International Energy Agency, the sales share of EVs is expected to grow from 15 per cent in 2023 to almost 40 per cent in 2030. The first set of EVs from UAEV have been deployed in Ajman, and more will be installed in the coming months across the country. The sustainable transport infrastructure is designed to unlock economic growth and support the nation’s Net Zero 2050 Strategy.

“Together, we will get things done and help pave the way for a cleaner future,” Eng Al Ali noted.

Source: Ashwani Kumar, Khaleej Times