UAE infrastructure change driven by electric vehicles

18 Dec 2019

Consumer adoption of electric cars and the advancement of autonomous driving technologies are increasing market demand as well as driving changes in legal infrastructure, according to an expert in the industry.

Today’s motor vehicles are considerably more efficient than was the case just a decade ago, but for 90% of the average day, they still remain stationary.

However, the automotive sector could change completely after the last five years of dramatic disruptions.

Over the course of the next ten years, electric and automated vehicles will increasingly dominate the roads all over the world, but to see these transport modes completely adopted would need infrastructure to undergo drastic changes.

The United Arab Emirates has been spearheading that change within the region by supporting the development of the maturing electric-autonomous automotive market.

The UAE government wants to have 20% of its own fleet be electric vehicles by next year, with 42,000 electric cars on the nation’s roads within another ten years.

The government has also just recently started the first phase of a new legislative framework that provides new rules for self-driving vehicles and ensures the highest levels of smart mobility security, reliability and efficiency.

The adoption of electric vehicles by end-users has been slower in the UAE than in some of the major cities in other countries of the world because of their high cost, fewer charging stations and a general lack of awareness of their advantages.

Access to charging stations in the UAE is also lacking in convenience because a large number of the nation’s expat population reside in apartment buildings.

However, steps are being taken to make it simpler for UAE residents to own electric cars.

In 2018, 100 electric vehicle charging stations were installed in Dubai by DEWA, doubling the total number.

More such stations are expected to be installed in the future, and the installation of electric vehicle charging stations in new projects is under active consideration by property developers.

These positive developments all signal the growing likelihood of the widespread adoption of electric vehicles.

This will inevitably have an effect on the used car market.

The volumes of sales in any market is driven by the maturity of its infrastructure, and with the infrastructure for the implementation of electric cars continuing to develop, the electric car market will continue to slowly expand.

Today’s new vehicles become the popular used cars of tomorrow, and within the course of the next five years the second-hand market will see an increase in the number of used electric cars available.

Electric vehicles also go hand in hand with autonomous vehicles, and with automation entering the field as cars become electrified, the cost of mobility is reduced, and ownership rules are changed as more people begin sharing vehicles.

The Dubai Autonomous Transportation Strategy is intended to transform a quarter of the emirate’s total transportation into autonomous vehicles by 2030.

The move will add Dh22bn in the city’s annual economic revenues across a number of sectors.

Anyone driving any kind of vehicle in the UAE is still required to be covered by car insurance.

Car insurance protects drivers against adverse financial consequences in the event of accidents.