The e-mobility transition is well underway

The COP28 summit marks a key transition point in climate action for the world and for the UAE.  This comes not only in the breakthrough wording of the Consensus deal, signed by 185 countries, to “transition away from fossil fuels in energy systems”. It also marks a transition point in the shift to electric mobility.

The UAE aims to transform its transportation system, with electric and hybrid vehicles projected to represent 50% of all vehicles on UAE roads by 2050. This ambitious target, announced by Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, forms part of a broader initiative to triple the country’s renewable energy capacity by 2030.

With over 81,000 electric and hybrid vehicles already on our roads as of June 2023, the UAE is committed to expanding its electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure, planning to increase the number of EV charging stations from 914 in 2023 to 10,000 by 2030. This initiative is part of the UAE’s comprehensive strategy to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and embrace cleaner energy sources.

H.E. Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei

“The game-changer has been the policy support for the shift to electrification quite substantially reducing oil demand from the transportation sector, which has been the key driver of global oil demand growth,” said Apostolos Petropoulos, an energy modeler at the IEA, in an interview with Reuters. Transportation is currently responsible for about 60% of world oil demand.

Al-Futtaim Group was Strategic E-Mobility Partner for COP28 and played an important role in increasing awareness and appreciation of the importance of electric mobility at the event.

At the opening of COP28, speaking at the Al-Futtaim stand in the Innovation & Technology hub in the Green Zone, Paul Willis, President of Al-Futtaim Automotive, commented on the importance of the global climate summit. “COP28 is a very key opportunity for us to highlight the efforts we have put in developing the green mobility industry in the UAE, and show our commitment to the UAE’s Net Zero goals. We are proud to showcase the electric mobility ecosystem that we are building in the UAE. It’s another tangible presentation of our commitment and our promise to deliver an integrated, end-to-end offering to encourage customers to make the shift to EVs.”

Al-Futtaim has pledged to install 10% of the charging infrastructure in the UAE by 2030.  It is also committing that ‘new energy vehicles’ (battery electric vehicles and hybrids) will account for 50% of its sales by that date.

Al-Futtaim’s Customer Centricity Director, Katib Belkhodja, says that progress towards this goal is good.  “We are not that far [away] in reality. With some of the hybrid models from Toyota and Lexus, alongside newer pure-EV brands like Polestar, and BYD and the new EV portfolio of long-term partner Volvo, roughly 18 to 20 percent of our sales are new energy vehicles.”

In another move to support the country’s development of a robust e-mobility ecosystem, Al-Futtaim Automotive has partnered with UAE University, signing a Memorandum of Understanding to advance Emirati expertise in e-mobility. This initiative, a part of COP28’s Youth Day, aims to cultivate local talent in the automotive and e-mobility sectors. The partnership will integrate Al-Futtaim’s Electric Mobility Training Centre with UAE University’s Emirates Center for Mobility Research, focusing on scientific research, academic training, and professional development. This strategic alliance highlights the UAE’s commitment to fostering innovation and preparing its workforce for future challenges in the evolving automotive industry.

Dr. Hamad Al Jassmi, Director of Emirates Center for Mobility Research, UAE University, enthused about the collaboration: “By merging the expertise of Al-Futtaim Automotive’s globally accredited E-mobility Training Centre with UAE University’s research prowess, we are creating a robust ecosystem for talent development in emerging mobility trends. This collaboration is a testament to our commitment to fostering innovation and preparing our youth for the challenges and opportunities of the future.”

Over and above the automotive sector, transportation was a key topic at COP28.  A focus was placed on “Avoid and Shift” strategies in the broader sector. These strategies also call for reducing overall mobility-related energy consumption and increasing access to green mobility options. There was strong emphasis on how to roll out less polluting commercial vehicles – for freight, delivery and public transport – as well as discussion around decarbonizing aviation and shipping. The Netherlands led the launch of the Alliance for Cycling and Walking Towards International Vitality and Empowerment (ACTIVE) to train 10,000 mobility experts in the Global South over the next ten years​. 

The transition to zero-emission mobility is accelerating and is a bright spot in our collective efforts to tackle climate change.

Related Posts

Recent Posts

Recent Videos

17 Dec, 2023