Electric Cars in The Middle East
By: Anthony Bayyouk / Arab America Contributing Writer
As Electric cars start to enter the market, more and more nations are starting to invest money into electric vehicles. You may see a Tesla or other electric cars in your town more often each day. Millennials are picking up on the trend more than anyone. When they go to buy their first car an electric is seen as a good buy because it is the future.
Car brands such as Ford and Jeep have already come out with electric vehicles. It is very common now to see charging stations outside supermarkets and all around town. Not only do these cars run on electricity, but they also tend to have a smoother, quieter ride compared to motor engines, and car companies are adding features into electric cars so people have more of an incentive to buy them. With the rise of inflation, gas is not very appealing to motor vehicle drives.
Buying an Electric to save money on gas is a very realistic idea in this economy. Yet, unless you charge your car outside the house at charging stations your savings might not be that different. Charging electricity at a house will increase your electric bill and the savings won’t be as big anymore. Typical American homes have two or three cars and it’s not realistic to charge all those cars each day. And if you’re doing it to save the ecosystem, think again.
The energy has to come from somewhere. Whether it’s burning coal, nuclear power plants, or the many other non-eco-friendly ways energy is collected. If more and more people drive electricity, energy will become more of a demand than it already is and the ecosystem will not be benefiting. Electric cars are still the future and nations want to jump on the trend before it’s too late.
The Arab world sees electric cars as tools to globalize. Currently, the electric car market in the Middle East is valued at 35million USD, and by 2026 it’s predicted to more than double to 84 million USD, and if you know anything about the Middle East, they are very unpredictable, the market can be worth well over 100 million USD.
The growing need for renewable energy across the region is pushing the government to jump into the electric car market. In Cairo Egypt, 250 million tons of CO2 were emitted in 2018. Cities like this exist all over the Middle East. The Middle East is globalizing very fast by producing and trading products abroad. An increase in production has caused an escalated CO2 emission. Although each nation across the region does not produce as much compared to the United States or China, the region as a whole is in danger of CO2 emissions continuing to increase. Countries in the region are trying to tackle this problem such as The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan plans to be carbon neutral by 2050.
Europe, China, and North America are leading the world when it comes to electrifying mobility. The Middle East is determined not to be left behind. The abundance supply of oil in the region challenges the switch to EV cars.
The UAE is jumping into the market. Even though they are an oil-rich nation, they have decided to embrace EV cars. 99% of the money the UAE makes from oil is by exporting it. Encouraging EV cars will not affect their economy. If you’re ever in Dubai and want to ride in a Tesla just call a taxi. In 2017 Dubai Taxi Corporation purchased 200 Teslas. Dubai also has charging stations across the city for no fee.
Saudi Arabia has also embraced EVs by designating 5% of all parking spaces in the Kingdom to be reserved for EVs. The move is part of Saudi efforts to reduce the country’s carbon footprint and conserve its energy resources. Considering the size of Saudi Arabia’s economy and population – both considerably larger than that of the UAE – this could be the country to watch when it comes to EV development across the region.
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