Get charged up?

A rush for clean energy and the never-ending research for better technology have brought electric vehicles to our door step.
What seems to be an option today could be the norm of tomorrow.
So what impact is it going to have? Will the demand see a trend moving away from the hydrocarbon industry?
At this point, it is an awareness stage in Oman, but the InterContinental Muscat and Crowne Plaza could receive visitors who can drive in in electric cars from the UAE as the route with charging stations has now been established.
Global EVRT’s electric vehicle experiences and the opening of electronic charging station at the InterContinental Muscat received response from all aspects of the spectrum.
“The charging station is going to be a permanent fixture here. It is part of sustainability. We are excited to be part of the initiative,” said Michael Jabbour, Hotel Manager, InterContinental Muscat.
The Under-Secretary for Environment at the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs, Najeeb al Rowas, who inaugurated the Future Mobility Roundtable — ‘Accelerating the future of mobility’ said, “Through the development and use of electric cars, we can see the first steps towards clean energy in the automobile industry are being taken.
These steps can help the world meet its obligations to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.”
Acting CEO of Riyada, Khalid al Haraibi said, “This is the first time where entities related to the future of mobility are coming together so that together we can brainstorm a road map.”
So what does the new trend and development mean for the traditional industry that has been based on hydrocarbon?
“The future is here,” said the Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Oil and Gas, Salim al Aufi.
“Electric vehicles are inevitable. I think they are exciting, a lot of people are excited and we are excited,” he said.
“Lot of people think that by introducing electric vehicles there would not be any need for hydrocarbon. On the contrary, the volume of plastic included in the electric cars themselves is much higher, so there will definitely be a need for hydrocarbon, but in a different form,” he added.
Al Aufi said it is going to be good for the environment. “We are trying our best to see what is best for the environment.”
Everything about future mobility is positive. We will embrace it completely.
“There is no conflict in producing hydrocarbon and embracing renewable energy, for that matter, electric vehicles. I would like to see that all electric stations are renewable-based. That will be the ultimate achievement,” Al Aufi said.
The new development is going to see a new set of opportunities, said the Acting CEO of Riyada. “The role of Riyada will be to encourage small and medium enterprises to think how they can be part of this irreversible trend, whether it is the charging stations or linking them to the companies that manufacture these vehicles.
This is a turning point for Omani SMEs and green economy initiatives.”
The current focus is to popularise electric vehicles.
The Founder and Managing Partner of Global EVRT, Ben Pullen, said, “There is the mass market, consumers and the wider population, which are all part of any industry. The focus will be on stimulating demand.”
In order to expand the network, there are more charging stations than planned before to enable more people to make the switch to electric cars.
Sam Alawiye, CEO of Green Parking, which installed the stations in two months, said: “The more stations we have between destinations, the more likely it will encourage low-income individuals to consider purchasing an electric car.”
“We are not targeting higher income individuals who can afford the top range, which can have a range of 400 km.”
To encourage people to try electric vehicles, Green Parking has come with an added attraction.
“If you have electric cars at least up to the end of 2019, you can use our network for charging. We’ll provide our cards and you don’t have to pay for the consumables. They can apply for our EV charging cards,” the CEO of Green Parking added.
The next step is the setting up of infrastructure and regulating the supply of electricity.

Lakshmi Kothaneth