New public charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs) are coming to Sharjah and residents will get to enjoy the service for free, authorities have announced.
Partnering with the Sharjah City Municipality (SCM) and the Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (Sewa), ION - a UAE-based smart, sustainable transportation company - will be supplying, installing and operating the EV charging stations in the emirate.
The launch of ION's stations in Sharjah boosts the UAE's strategic shift to green mobility and supports the country's current electric vehicle network.
In Dubai, EV drivers can also charge their cars for free at public stations under the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority's eco-initiative that runs until the end of next year. Even in Abu Dhabi, key destinations such as Yas Island are fully equipped with e-stations.
ION, a joint venture between Bee'ah and CE-Creates, have also set up operations in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Khaled Al Huraimel, group CEO of Bee'ah and chairman of ION, said: "We are transforming the way people use transportation in the Middle East region, by introducing services and solutions that allow for smart and sustainable mobility.
"Electric charging stations are an important component in the development of a zero-emissions transportation network in the UAE and wider region and we welcome the chance to work with partners such as Sewa and SCM to contribute to a better quality of life for the residents of Sharjah."
Project to be done in phases
The green mobility solutions provider will build a vast network of charging stations across the emirate in a phased approach, aiming to encourage more residents to shift to EVs. Charging services shall be offered for free.
Samer Choucair, director of CE-Creates and board member of ION, said: "We invest in business concepts that can bring positive change to communities. With a phased roll-out planned until 2025, the collaborative effort between us and Bee'ah will be aligned with the establishment of regulatory frameworks governing the use of electric vehicles in the region."
Overall, there has been a rise in the number of electric vehicle motorists in the UAE as governments introduce policies and infrastructure that support sustainable transport. Several renowned electric vehicle companies have also established their presence in the country including Tesla and Navya.
Sharjah goes all out in going green
Sharjah has become a fast-emerging hub for sustainability and is on track to become the first zero-waste city in the Middle East through a waste-to-energy plant.
Sustainability across all aspects of transportation is a priority in the emirate, with Bee'ah - which manages city cleaning processes - having ordered 50 Tesla semi-electric trucks to add to its waste management fleet by this year.
Thabit Salim Al-Turaifi, director-general at the Sharjah City Municipality, said: "As Sharjah positions itself to be more eco-friendly and technologically advanced, (the agreement with ION) will be of vast importance to the success of green mobility in the city. "Partnering with like-minded entities to unlock the potential of electric vehicles in Sharjah is a strong indicator of our commitment to creating a safe and sustainable environment for residents."
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