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Dubai portal eyes rentals to boost electric vehicle uptake

Selfdrive.ae, an online car rental service, will offer Renault Zoe vehicles that can be recharged for free at DEWA's charging stations in Dubai

Selfdrive.ae will offer Renault Zoe vehicles that can be recharged at DEWA facilities for free [representational image].
Selfdrive.ae will offer Renault Zoe vehicles that can be recharged at DEWA facilities for free [representational image].

A recently launched rental service in Dubai is expected to spur the uptake of electric vehicle (EV) driving in the city. 

Selfdrive.ae, an online car rental service, is being touted as the first of its kind to offer electric cars.

The firm is offering Renault Zoe EVs (pictured) at an initial price of $1.36 (AED5) per hour, with a minimum billing cycle of 24 hours, and a range of 250km per day. 

Local residents, visitors, expats, and corporate clients can avail of the company's services.

Selfdrive.ae's EVs can be charged for free at the charging stations that have been installed around the emirate by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA).

Commenting on the development, Soham Shah, the founder and director of Selfdrive.ae's holding company, Pinewoods Technology Services Dubai, said: "We are thankful to the Road and Transport Authority (RTA) and DEWA for collaborating to incentivise electric cars by allowing free charging across DEWA car charging stations, [and providing] free parking. 

"Selfdrive.ae is proud to take first steps towards making electric cars more accessible and affordable to the masses and [creating] an ecosystem for people to explore the new age of mobility, by introducing new avenues in smart mobility and car share technology," Shah added, according to Arabian Business.

Public-sector initiatives are driving the uptake of environment-friendly vehicles in the Gulf. 

This September, the Dubai Green Mobility Initiative was launched, with the aim of incentivising motorists to opt for sustainable vehicles. The programme included benefits such as free use of charging stations across the emirate until the end of 2019, complimentary ‘green’ parking, free vehicle registration and renewal fees, and free Salik tags.

The UAE's draft regulations for electric vehicles were adopted by its Gulf neighbours, it was revealed earlier this month. 

Safety requirements, vehicle performance, and weather suitability modules included in the UAE's draft regulations prompted their uptake by GCC countries. 

Abdulla Al Maeeni, director-general of Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (ESMA), said that the GCC Standardisation Organisation is currently drafting its regulations based on the UAE's documents.

Al Maeeni added that ESMA is also working on, a new phase of eco-friendly and economy-beneficial national policies, based on the UAE's draft.


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Construction Week - Issue 738
Apr 21, 2019