What's Causing Oil-Rich Countries to Embrace Electric Vehicles?

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【Summary】Oil filled countries such as United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudia Arabia have the reputation of their V12s and V8 super-cars roaming their streets. Unlike the United States and other parts of the world, gas prices in GCC countries are so low that saving fuel is never an issue they face. In that case, if gas prices are not an issue and oil and gas is what these countries economy heavily rely on, why would these countries support Electric Vehicles?

Original   Lamees  ·  May 01, 2017 12:35 PM PT
author: Lamees   

According to Gulf Business, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait made it on the outlet's list of "Top 10 Countries with The World's Biggest Oil Reserves," which produce billions of barrels of oil. The majority of the world relies heavily on these countries to export oil for transportation, construction, and other industrial uses. When one considers the major role that oil plays in these Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, it's surprising to see that these oil-rich countries support the introduction of hybrid and electric vehicles. 

Move Over Supercars, EVs Are Here

The adoption of EVs and hybrids in these countries is a contradiction, especially as their economies rely heavily on the exportation of oil. A new trend, though, has emerged in GCC countries, such as Dubai, where it has become popular to be seen in a fully-electric vehicle. This newfound popularity boils down to the numerous benefits that electric vehicles offer drivers over regular gasoline-powered automobiles. 

Unlike in other parts of the world, speeding in Dubai can lead to getting pulled over in a Lamborghini, as local law enforcement have had to recruit high-performance supercars to keep the wealthy clientele in the area in check. Supercars from McLaren, Ferrari, Bugatti, Lamborghini, and more are just some of the eye candy that can be seen driving on Dubai's roads. While expensive, high-performance supercars aren't out of the ordinary in GCC cities, there's a new type of vehicle that have made their way to Dubai's roads – electric vehicles. 

According to The National, drivers in GCC countries will be able to travel freely without having to worry about range anxiety – the fear of running out of range on a battery-operated car – by 2018. Various investments dedicated to increasing the number of charging stations in the GCC countries and other electric vehicle accommodations will make traveling in battery-powered vehicle possible in the near future. 

Saving gas has never been a focus of concern for drivers living in GCC countries, so let's take a closer look into why fuel-efficient, eco-friendly electric vehicles are becoming popular in countries that are known for being overrun by expensive, high-performance supercars.

Three Reasons Why Oil Rich Countries Are Moving Towards Electric Cars

- While gas prices are extremely affordable in GCC countries, electric vehicles can reduce the cost of automotive travel by approximately 50 percent.

- Reliability is another factor to consider with electric vehicles, as the absence of a traditional engine and multi-gear transmission will keep repairs and maintenance down to a minimum, claims The Green Optimistic

- Besides being efficient and good for the environment, electric vehicles have a reputation for being able to sprint from a standstill to 60 mph in blistering times, which comes down to the way the electric motors deliver torque. Having a fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly car that can challenge a purpose-built supercar in a performance test is something that needs to be experienced by all. 

Ultimately, choosing an electric vehicle over a traditional gasoline-powered car comes down to preference and what an individual expects out of their vehicle. While electric vehicles offer drivers in GCC countries with numerous benefits over traditional cars, the ramifications of a complete takeover have yet to be evaluated from an economical standpoint. From my point of view, the positives far outweigh the negatives and if electric vehicles can excel in GCC countries, than the fuel-efficient cars can do well anywhere.

Photo by: Lamess Daghlan

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