High prices, limited model choices and the lack of supporting infrastructure are all driving people away from electric cars. Experts and car enthusiasts say that it will take at least a generation to persuade drivers to use electric vehicles, even with higher fuel costs and government incentives. And this wont happen without better awareness and widespread charging infrastructure.
Currently, electric cars are considered a tough sell. Rightly or wrongly, many consumers view SUVs as a better option, particularly in a country where fuel prices are still far lower than the global norm. A basic lack of familiarity with electric cars and the false perceptions that surround them also dont help.
But the country is working to improve infrastructure. Dubai has already started to introduce charging stations as part of a plan by the Electricity and Water Authority to pave the way for public adoption. Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority launched a new initiative last month allowing electric vehicle owners to use charging stations on its premises at no cost until the end of the year. Meanwhile, Masdar City is studying 10 electric vehicles performance in local conditions.
With better infrastructure and more model options, electric cars may soon change those false narratives. Electric cars save on fuel money and require less maintenance than petrol-powered cars because they have fewer moving parts and dont need oil changes. Although currently they are more expensive and take hours to charge, this could also change with improved technology.
The governments can also introduce incentives to encourage more people to rent zero-emission electric cars: including purchase price subsidies (similar to those on offer in the United Kingdom), There could be other exemption schemes, reduced vehicle registration and renewal fees and cheaper or free parking. Eco-friendly cars are, after all, part of the more sustainable future we are aiming for.
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