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First Tesla car-sharing operation coming to UAE

The Middle East car-sharing company ekar, which was founded in the United Arab Emirates, has announced the formation of a new partnership with Masdar.

Masdar, one of the world’s leading renewable energy firms, is to join with ekar to bring car sharing with electric vehicles to the region.

This is beginning with the introduction to its fleet of as many as five Tesla (S and X) models.

The new vehicles are already available to hire via the Abu Dhabi branch of Masdar City.

Masdar’s executive director of sustainable real estate Yousef Baselaib says that Masdar City was responsible for the installation of the Middle East’s first rapid charging station.

Masdar recognises the economic and environmental value of car sharing to the community, and the scalable nature of the ekar platform means that more electric vehicles are likely to be introduced to the fleet at a later date, Baselaib adds.

The announcement followed a further demonstration of Masdar’s larger commitment to the advancement of sustainable commercial mobility.

The company has invested £35m in the Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund, which is intended to increase the number of rapid charging points in the UK.

The new partnership between ekar and Masdar is yet another example of the latter’s investment in the promotion of low-carbon transport solutions in the UAE.

The launch of the new service is an expansion of the company’s existing sustainable mobility solutions portfolio, which also includes the NAVYA Autonom Shuttle and the Personal Rapid Transit system, according to Baselaib.

Baselaib claims that it is also a demonstration of the way that multiple transport solutions can be integrated into cities in order to have a sustainable method of meeting the needs of all residents, visitors and tenants.

Dedicated ekar app users can now rent one of the new electric vehicle models by the minute, allowing them to make full use of the benefits offered by driving electric cars without the need to actually purchase one.

After choosing the Tesla model they wish to rent, users can then pick up the car from one of the charging stations in Masdar City, and then return it to their closest station for the convenience of the next user.

The Middle East CEO of ekar, Vilhelm Hedberg, says that the company is honoured to have been chosen as Masdar’s car-share partner in the UAE.

Hedberg says that ekar wants 5% of its fleet to be electric vehicles by next year, and for it to be 100% electric by 2025 and completely autonomous by 2030.

This goal can only be achieved by aligning with innovative companies such as Masdar, a pioneer for clean energy all over the world and one that shows how the sustainability agenda can be delivered by the business community, according to Hedberg.

Anyone who drives an electric car in the UAE is still under a legal obligation to take out car insurance before they do so.

Car insurance helps protect all road users from the financial consequences of accidents and theft.