Regulations designed to enable the rollout of safe, robust and standardised Electric Vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure – a key requisite for the rapid uptake of electric cars in the Sultanate of Oman – are proposed to be introduced before the end of this year.
That effort is being overseen by the Authority for Public Services Regulation (APSR), which has set up a multi-sectoral team to ensure that the design and technical specs of charging stations meet with international industry standards, as well as the specific requirements of motorists and other stakeholders in the country.
“We are currently working in the Authority, with the help of key stakeholders, including the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion as part of a team,” said Shaikh Dr Mansoor bin Talib al Hinai, Chairman – APSR. “The Ministry of Energy and Minerals, and the Royal Oman Police are also part of this multi-stakeholder task force. We are hoping, by the end of 2022, to issue regulations on the charging stations. It requires all the parties concerned to come together.”
Shaikh Dr Al Hinai made the revelation at the opening session of the International Sustainability Resources & Technology Conference (ISRTC), which was held in Muscat last week. Also taking part in the session were HH Sayyid Dr Adham al Said, Assistant Professor of Economics at the College of Economics and Political Science, Sultan Qaboos University (as Moderator); Dr Ali al Shidhani, Communications and Information Technology Under-Secretary – Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology, and Eng Ahmad al Subhi, Chairman – Oman Environmental Services Holding (be’ah).
Interest in an EV market is reviving rapidly, with the regulator as well as market players, building on pre-pandemic efforts to stimulate the growth of a thriving electric vehicle market in the Sultanate of Oman. Leading fuel marketing companies are investing in e-mobility hubs and charging stations at selection locations around the country in anticipation of a pick-up in EV adoption.
During the panel discussion, Dr Al Shidhani – Communications and IT Under-Secretary, also noted the need for “incentives and regulatory schemes” to help drive the uptake of electric cars in the country.
The growth of an EV market in the Sultanate of Oman is seen as key to supporting decarbonisation efforts in line with the Omani government’s commitments under the Paris Accords to mitigate global warming. A transition to renewables, such as solar and wind, and eventually green hydrogen as well, will also help accelerate this effort.
Significantly, a study commissioned by the Authority and published three years ago recommended financial incentives in the form of tax exemptions, registration fee waivers and other subsidies to help fuel the uptake and promotion of electric cars in the country.
The report was compiled by US-based Energy and Environmental Economics, Inc (E3) with its subcontractor Baringa Partners. It identified an array of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives that Oman’s authorities could consider for implementation in order to stimulate the growth of an EV market in the country.
Also boding well for heightened interest in electric vehicle adoption are a number of localised initiatives, notably the launch recently of the country’s first indigenously designed and crafted electric car under the ‘Mays’ brand. Additionally, Karwa Motors – a partnership of Oman Investment Authority (OIA) and Mowasalat Qatar – is also planning to manufacture electric buses at its facility at Duqm SEZ in the next phase of its operations.