Spotlight: Revving up to go electric

Despite the global shutdown of the transportation system, pollution continues to be a concern, impacting the climate and the way we live our life.
One of the major efforts by the researchers and manufacturers around the world has been to get electric vehicles (EV) to hit the market as soon as possible.
According to the World Economic Forum, electric vehicles, especially cars, came into their own with sales picking up across the world. While batteries and performance have been improved, infrastructure like the charging outlets in public places still lag.
While Norway continues to dominate the electric car market in terms of sales, according to WEF, the positive story is the growth of all types of EV vehicles in China.
Apart from passenger cars, the number of mass transport vehicles including heavy-duty buses and trucks is expected to enter the markets in a big way.
Here in Oman too, consumers are now having multiple options with electric and hybrids cars, with some products in their line-up namely from Toyota and Hyundai.

“EVs are getting serious attention of the customers, who still have doubts over the infrastructure to support these vehicles, especially in long drives. With the government taking steps to support EVs and hybrids through subsidies, customers just need some adequate infrastructure in place’’, said a showroom executive.
“These days we have found a few brands of hybrid and electric cars, including Tesla, on the streets of Muscat. With the recent development plan of the government focusing on smart cities, the use of bicycles and electric vehicles are expected to get a major push in the coming months’’, said Salem, who is still exploring a Tesla brand.
According to WEF, nearly 290 million charging points at the cost of $500 billion need to be deployed by 2040, which is in parallel with Oman Vision 2040.
The competent regulatory authorities in Oman have been working on frameworks for electric vehicle penetration and learn from international best practices in this area. One of the main challenges facing the use of EVs in the Sultanate is the cost as the cost of such vehicles is high. The cost of EVs is expected to be affordable to users in the Sultanate with prices already coming down since 2020.
In coordination with the Royal Oman Police (ROP) and the ministries concerned, there have been efforts to develop specifications and standards, by removing all obstacles that limit the use of EVs.
It may be also noted that reducing overdependence on oil has been the aim of economic policymakers in the GCC from the current levels of nearly 60 to 70%.
Across the world, car manufacturers are introducing new electric models in 2021 with improved range and performance, including Volkswagen and Volvo. According to reports, the average price of a vehicle battery pack fell from $1,160 in 2010 to $156 in 2019. The World Economic Forum’s Global Battery Alliance, involving manufacturers and raw material producers,
have been playing a key role in reducing the carbon the footprint of the transport and power sectors.