Why Are Not There Lots of Electric Cars in the GCC Yet?

Published March 22nd, 2021 - 03:00 GMT
Charging stations in Abu Dhabi
Dubai has set its target to have 10% of its cars operating on either electricity or hybrid systems. (Shutterstock: Abduallh)

Despite its soaring popularity in different parts of the world, electric cars are still not as demanded in the GCC countries, which prompts many questions over the reasons behind this lack of interest by the region's residents towards gas-less vehicles.

In today's world, green solutions have been warmly welcomed by the world that is facing a pandemic and an acute climate crisis, which have all led to people preferring environment-friendly activities, ones that can help tackle these crises and make the world a safer more-livable place.

Cars that run on gas are one of the major sources of global warming, the one that is causing the earth's temperature to rise at a dangerous pace endangering the planet's species. This has inspired many innovations meant to decrease greenhouse gas emissions, such as electric cars.

When we talk about electric cars, we are not only talking about the fancy Tesla but about average-priced Nissans, Toyotas, Fords, Hyundais, and many others. But these models are still largely absent when we talk about Emirati, Saudi, Kuwaiti streets, or others in the GCC.

Part of the reason lays in the fact that gas prices in these oil-rich countries are quite low, which doesn't constitute a reason strong enough for consumers to think of alternatives, as long as they do not pay a fortune on their daily gas needs.

Another reason is that charging stations that are meant to facilitate and encourage purchasing EVs are relatively rare in the major cities of the GCC, making it a little challenging for people who are considering this option to feel at ease when thinking about the logistics.

According to the Emirati newspapers, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority has established 200 charging stations across Dubai by August 2020.

Moreover, the lack of EVs in the GCC countries has also led to a lack of car parts needed for maintenance, which can be discouraging to individuals considering this type of car in the meantime.

This comes despite the fact that the Dubai government has tried to push residents to buy EVs as green transportation solutions, in a plan that pledged to turn at least 10% of the city's cars into either electric or hybrid by 2030.

What other reasons are contributing to GCC people being discouraged of purchasing EVs? What can manufacturers and government do to push for an electric cars revolution in the region?

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