The UAE took the lead in promoting electric vehicles in the GCC region by holding the first conference and exhibition which will showcase the latest technologies in the field of electric and hybrid transportation. The conference named The International Conference on Future Mobility started today and will be held from November 8 to 9 at the Meydan Hotel. Over 200 delegates, drawn from regulatory bodies, government authorities, major automotive companies and international think thanks are participating in the conference which will will also serve as a venue for major car manufacturers like Toyota, Lexus, Renault, General Motors and Porsche to showcase their eco-friendly models.
The two-day event is organised by Messe Frankfurt Middle East in association with the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA), and will lay the groundwork for expediting the use of eco-friendly vehicles in the GCC region.
The high level of interest in the use of sustainable automotive solutions was highlighted by the large turnout from regional authorities, including delegates from organizations like the Dubai RTA, UAE Ministries of Environment and Water, Energy, and Economy; the Federal Transport Authority; DEWA and the GCC Standardization Organization.
While delivering the keynote address, H.E Abdulla Al Maeeni, Director General of ESMA, said that ESMA has identified a growing need for electric and hybrid vehicles in the UAE in line with the country’s plans to become a smart, integrated, and connected country. The efforts to encourage companies, government organizations and the general public to switch to eco-friendly vehicles will complement the Dubai Smart City Initiative launched by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, as well as the goals of the UAE Vision 2021.
Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, added: “The International Conference on Future Mobility marks the beginning of the electric vehicle era in the UAE and the wider GCC, and comes at a pivotal time for both the regional and global automotive industry.”
He added that the event presented delegates with a unique opportunity to promote the wide-scale usage of electric and hybrid vehicles, while serving as platform for discussions about the development of the right regulatory framework, potential consumer incentives, and the infrastructure that needs to be developed. Some of the key areas for discussion will include global best-practice in these key areas, along with new innovations and technologies are some of the many hot topics over the next two days.”
Prominent speakers at the International Conference on Future Mobility included Len Hunt President of Al-Futtaim Automotive Group, who gave an overview of world-wide usage of Toyota and Lexus hybrid vehicles.
Hunt said the sales of hybrid vehicles from Toyota and Lexus have crossed eight million, with the outcome being a drop in CO2 emissions by 58 million tons.
“Toyota estimates that its hybrid vehicles have saved approximately 22 million kiloliters of petrol, enough to fill 8,800 Olympic swimming pools, compared to the amount used by gasoline-powered vehicles of similar sizes,” said Hunt, who added that hybrid cars could provide the next step towards a greener society in the UAE.
One notable point he highlighted was the difference between hybrid and electric vehicles. While electric vehicles need charging stations and additional infrastructure to keep going, hybrid cars come with a petrol engine and a battery powered electric motor. The electric motor is charged by using the kinetic energy from the braking mechanism. Hence, the use of hybrid vehicles does not reuire any additional investment, other than the actual cost of the vehicle.
Hunt said that Al-Futtaim Motors has been collaborating closely with the UAE government and many taxi operators across the UAE to incorporate hybrid vehicles in their fleet.
“At the moment, there are hundreds of Toyota Camry Hybrid vehicles on UAE roads, giving passengers a comfortable, quiet and energy efficient transport experience,” Hunt added.
He said that the company invited many key government officials to visit the Toyota headquarters in Japan and learn more about hybrid and fuel cell vehicle technology. Toyota’s 2050 vision aims at phasing out all conventional gasoline cars by 2050, with all consumers switching to hybrid and fuel cell vehicles. These visits have been instrumental in helping officials in the UAE to understand more about green technologies and the crucial role they can play in achieving the UAE government vision.
The International Conference on Future Mobility 2015 is held under the patronage of His Excellency Dr. Rashid Ahmed Bin-Fahad, UAE Minister of Environment and Water and Chairman of ESMA, and supported by the Automobile & Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE).
There will be a wide range of presentations and interactive forums at the conference on topics like Public Policies, Strategies and Best Practices; Infrastructure, Distribution and Delivery of Electric Vehicles; Market, Business and User Behaviour; and Electric Vehicle Technology, Research and Development.
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