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2017-10-13

Electric-car incentives added in, remarkably, oil-rich Dubai




Hyperloop One concept drawing for system bridging Abu Dhabi and Dubai

Dubai, the second largest sheikdom in the United Arab Emirates, has introduced new incentives in an attempt to make electric cars more desirable.
Battery-electric and plug-in vehicles often go overlooked in the oil-rich area, but even some of the world's largest crude-oil producers plan to reduce their addiction to black gold.
Now, Dubai will offer free parking, charging, and other incentives to make vehicles with plugs more popular.
The city described the incentives as important ways to curb emissions in the UAE, called it a small step towards the goal of deploying 32,000 electric cars on local roads by 2020.
In 2015, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) installed 100 electric-car charging stations; it plans another 100 stations by the end of 2017, according to Energy Voice.
The free charging perk won't last forever, though: DEWA capped the incentive to run through 2019.
The authority did not provide a timetable for the other incentives, however.
In the announcement, DEWA simply said drivers of electric cars would receive free parking, which is a hefty incentive in itself as parking has become difficult to find in the most populous areas of the country.
Additionally, Dubai will exempt electric cars from both road tolls and vehicle registration fees.
The shift to electric cars falls in line with some other Middle Eastern countries, including Saudi Arabia, that plan to move toward more renewable energy production.
Dubai purchased a fleet of 200 Teslas earlier this year, though the promise of a self-driving future was the major motivator, rather than the cars' lack of emissions.
Many of these countries fear for their economies as the world starts to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels.
Saudi Arabia released its "Vision 2030" plan last year, which outlines a path under which the kingdom's economy will no longer depend on oil production as its largest source of revenue.
Instead, it plans to invest in other areas, such as defense and tourism.
However, the country also plans to reduce emissions without cuts to fossil-fuel use.
Ahead of the Paris climate agreement, it had committed to reducing its emissions, but the country stressed it must minimize "potential negative side effects."
The tentative moves underscore the central dilemma for the oil-producing nations of the region: their economies rely hugely on fossil-fuel revenue, and at the moment, it swamps revenue from any other sources.