Sherouk Zakaria.  Khaleejtimesf 

Over 4,000 e-cars currently drive across Dubai.

Dubai(ANN)-About 55 new models of electric vehicles (EVs) are expected to be sintroduced in UAE markets over the next year to encourage residents to opt for green transportation in a newly-launched campaign.

As part of the E-Sayyara campaign, launched on Thursday to increase the number e-cars on the road, authorities will also be introducing new incentives to environment-friendly car users.

Ivano Iannelli, CEO of Dubai Carbon, said as major car brands like Mercedes, BMW and General Motors are introducing new models of EVs, UAE markets will see a breakthrough in green mobility by 2020.

“General Motors introduced 12 new e-car models lately. At least 55 new models will be in the markets in the next 18 months with a lot more to expect in 2020,” said Iannelli.

As part of the campaign launched by the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy (DCSE), authorities will work closely with manufacturers to increase the supply of EVs. Over 4,000 e-cars currently drive across Dubai, with a targeted increase to over 270,000 eco-friendly cars in Dubai by 2030.

Iannelli said the incentives will target different segments of EV users. “There are sports enthusiasts, 4×4 drivers, tech savvies and tree huggers; everyone has a different relationship to transport and should be approached differently,” said Iannelli. He noted that the incentives will be targeted to meet the expectations of UAE residents and make green mobility more desirable.

The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) introduced last year a group of incentives for e-car users including free charging until end of 2019, free Salik tag, free parking spots across Dubai and exemption from vehicle registration and renewal fees. E-car users can now charge their vehicles at 200 EV Green Charger stations installed across Dubai roads, malls and tourist destinations.

One charge is enough for a Dubai-Abu Dhabi road trip and back.

Ahmed Buti Al Muhairbi, secretary-general of the DSCE, told Khaleej Times that Dubai will implement three phases of incentives in the coming years. “We introduced the basic incentives last year with Dewa, now it’s time to supply the market with enough e-cars before introducing new incentives that responds to the market needs,” said Al Muhairabi. “We expect a breakthrough of e-cars in Dubai by 2020, with new regulations and incentives to be launched.”

The DSCE set a target for government organisations to have at least 10 per cent of annual leased or purchased cars to be electric or hybrid, starting from 2016, so electric and hybrid cars would reach 2 per cent by 2020, and 10 per cent by 2030.

“This supports the Dubai Carbon Abatement Strategy to reduce carbon emissions from transportation sector,” he said.

Benefits of buying e-car

1. A trip across the country at no fuel cost
2. Free charge in 200 charging stations in Dubai until end of 2019
3. A network of 370 ?charging points in Dubai
4. Charge in Dubai ?every 40km
5. A charge in Dubai will get you to Abu Dhabi and back
6. Average cost of charging an e-car is Dh7, compared to Dh150 in conventional fuel
7. EV cost significantly less to maintain
8. Extra 3 years warranty for e-cars in Dubai
9. Savings of Dh22,000 on total cost of ownership
10. Free Salik tag
11. Free vehicle registration and renewal
12. Free parking spots
13. Unique parking sticker

E-cars are not expensive

Figures showed that driving an e-car saves users up to Dh9,000 worth of fuel annually and Dh1,950 for maintenance. The average motorist drives 27,000-29,000km a year, based on real data used for calculating carbon emissions. “EVs are more efficient than fuel-powered cars because they have less moving parts so they don’t require expensive and frequent maintenance and oil. Insurance for EVs, therefore, will not be costly either,” said Iannelli.

Meanwhile, Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, CEO and MD of Dewa, dismissed the stereotype around the expensive costs of e-cars in the market. “Charging an e-car would cost you Dh7 versus fueling your car tank, which costs up to 150,” said Al Tayer.

Iannelli said while price of EVs is expected to go lower when more models are introduced, it remains incorrect to say e-cars are expensive. “There are EVs in the market that are affordable. We can’t expect to pick up high-end vehicles, like a supercar, for a good price.” He noted future models will become simpler and applicable for masses, not just high-end users.