SelfDrive, an online car rental company in Dubai, has begun offering customers the chance to drive an electric car for less than $1.50 an hour. Yes, a minimum 24 hour rental is required, but that still works out to about $30 for a day’s worth of use. The rental plan is for the all-electric Renault Zoe, a car slightly smaller than the Nissan LEAF that happens to be the highest selling electric car in Europe. Consider the ZOE the little sister of the Samsung SM3 electric car sold in South Korea. Notably, the longer-range ZOE just arrived into the UAE a few weeks ago.
Soham Shah, founder and director at Pinewoods Technology Services Dubai, tells Gulf News: “We are thankful to the Road Transport Authority and the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority for collaborating to incentivize electric cars by allowing free charging across all Dewa car charging stations, free parking and Salik tags.”
Dewa has a network of 90 charging stations in Dubai and all of them will be free to use for people who rent from SelfDrive. The rental agreement limits customers to no more than 250 kilometers of driving a day. Cars can also be reserved on a weekly or monthly basis.
Saeed Mohammad Al Tayer, managing director and chief executive officer of Dewa, says, “Under the umbrella of the Supreme Energy Council, Dewa is working on implementing the Dubai Green Mobility Initiative to promote the use of electric and hybrid vehicles. This supports the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 for Dubai to have the lowest carbon footprint in the world by 2050 and the Dubai Carbon Abatement Strategy to slash carbon emissions by 16 per cent by 2021.”
All electric car owners in Dubai are entitled to use the Dewa network of EV chargers for free until 2019. They also enjoy priority parking privileges and are not required to pay annual licensing fees. Dewa will have 100 chargers in operation by the end of 2017 with plans to install another 100 next year.
Al Tayer says the incentives are intended to “motivate organizations to use sustainable transport such as hybrid and electric vehicles and to contribute to the sustainable development of the emirate by reducing carbon emissions in ground transport, which is the second largest gas emitter in Dubai.”