The first MENA EV Show showcases the electric future

There was a common theme throughout the recent inaugural MENA EV Show. The event, held at Radisson Red in Dubai Silicon Oasis, was stacked with industry leaders and speakers from the UAE government and representatives from the EV market. Regardless of their expertise, the message was consistent on the future of EVs: less talk and more actions are needed to accelerate matters.

The UAE used the MENA EV Show to show off its road map to an EV future and demonstrate the actions that are already in place or coming soon. Its lofty goal of having a 50 per cent share of all vehicles on UAE roads be EVs by 2050 is aided by its local and global partnerships. 

Ahmed Samir Elbermbali, Managing Director of CharIN Middle East – the non-profit dedicated to standardising charging systems worldwide – discussed the required infrastructure. While Her Excellency Dr. Farah Al Zarooni, Assistant Undersecretary for the Standards and Regulations Sector, Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, led a talk on the incentives and taxations the UAE offers to achieve this.

The show also highlighted who is mainly responsible for driving the EV revolution. While the layman might suggest it’s up to manufacturers like Tesla to create more charging stations, it’s down to the country’s governments where they’re sold. It’s a point that the session with Somayyah Alyammahi, Head of Studies and Policy Department, Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure in UAE, hit home. When discussing the national roadmap of EV charging stations, there was an emphasis on the government’s role in the whole process along with stakeholders such as the road transport authorities from each emirate.

Although most of this first event focused on the talking side of things, there were plenty of actions on show, too. Here’s a look at the current and near-future things from the MENA EV Show 2023.

E-bike delivery

It’s been a while since food delivery service Talabat announced a pilot scheme with e-bike maker Motoboy. We’re yet to see them on the road, but fully branded orange bikes similar to Vespas were on show at the exhibition. We predict the e-bike delivery services will ramp up soon, though. Wardwizard, the India-based EV manufacturer, is bringing the Joy – quite literally – to the UAE in 2024.

Joy e-bikes currently have a stable of ten different models. From the 25 kmh Wolf moped to the Beast motorbike that can achieve 90 kmh, Joy has numerous options for personal and commercial use. 

Soon, Dubai will rely heavily on delivering orders using electric bicycles. Ward Wizard, an Indian electric vehicle manufacturer, will distribute Joy electric bikes in the UAE starting in 2024.

Daimler Trucks

Ognjen Jovanovic, eTruck and bodybuilder Manager at Daimler Trucks presented the future of HGVs and utility vehicles. The German truck manufacturer announced its new long-range eTrucks and pickup trucks and confirmed the vehicles will be in the UAE by early 2024. This move is designed to replace as many gas-guzzling HGVs and worker vehicles as possible to reduce the country’s carbon emissions.

Likewise, its electric garbage trucks will also be weaving through the UAE roads and communities in 2024. This will be music to the ears of anyone rudely awakened by the dustmen.

Daimler’s move follows on the heels of Volvo Trucks, which announced in June this year that its trucks are also due to arrive in the UAE very soon.

Daimler Trucks has announced that its electric trucks and long-range vans will arrive in the UAE in early 2024.

Dubai Police eVehicles

EVs will now line up along the illustrious names in the Dubai Police Force fleet. Next to the Bugatti Veyron, Nissan GT-R and Lamborghini Urus, you’ll now find the Audi RS e-tron GT and the Mercedes-AMG EQS. 

Both are lightning-fast and will quickly arrive on the scene in no time. And both of these vehicles signal Dubai Police’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint.

Dubai Police has integrated high-performance electric patrol cars into its fleet.

RailBus network

The solar-powered, autonomous RailBus is an old-school tram with future-proof and sustainable technology. This pod transport network is still TBC but will help the UAE reduce its overall carbon emissions.  It costs 20 per cent less to build than a traditional metro system. There’s room for 40 passengers, and the carriages comply with disabled access rules and regulations.

Of course, there’s still a lot of work to be done if the UAE is to achieve its goals. But events like the MENA EV Show are a great way to see how much progress has been made. There may have been a lot of talk, but the actions in the pipeline will put more EVs into the country than ever before.

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30 Sep, 2023