Between the 18th and 26th of January and across the UAE and Oman, electric cars were driven for more than 2,000 kilometers. Private participants from the region came together to experience an uncommon but electrifying road trip that covered the cities of Abu Dhabi, Sohar, Muscat, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah and Dubai. Apart from the experience (which just from their faces showed how excited they all were), the purpose of the EVRT was to accelerate the adoption EVs and open charging stations around the country.
The fleet consisted mainly of Chevrolet Bolts and Tesla Model S and Model Xs. However, we had the opportunity to join with a different electric car that is currently being sold in the UAE. As a matter of fact, you can now pull AED 136,000 from your bank account, go to Arabian Automobiles Company Renault and drive out a Renault Zoe 40 (40 stands for the Kw of the battery that is usually attached to the range. Same as petrol, bigger the tank bigger the range).
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You might be asking yourself, after reading the first 2 paragraphs; what the Global EVRT is all about. Well, in a few words, led by Ben Pullen (co-founder) their mission is to accelerate electrification in the automotive market. We, at YallaMotor, as you have been seeing are fully committed since we understand electrification needs way more promotion than it receives to bring more awareness to governments, OEMs, distributors, drivers, passengers, sellers, buyers, petrolheads and electro-heads?
Although during the last 14 months or so, electric cars have been on the automotive discussion board, we need to understand our current infrastructure is not enough and we truly believe buyers don’t know the pool of benefits that EVs deliver. While being eco-friendly first and foremost, EVs do not pollute or contaminate the air like standard combustion engined cars do. Granted, it’s not yet clear how much the batteries contaminate the environment (either while being produced or disposed) but from what we’ve heard and asked around, the batteries on EVs provide no less than 8 years warranty.
The next big saving comes in the form of fuel expenditure. As it stands, electricity is far cheaper than petrol and if you live in Dubai, charging of EVs will be free for at least another year. Factor in the savings made from omitting regular service and maintenance (since EVs don’t undergo the same periodic maintenance) and they begin to make quite a lot of sense from a monetary standpoint.
As mentioned earlier, AAC Renault lent us a Renault Zoe 40 kWh to join the wonderful road trip. We left Dubai fully charged with a potential range of 280-ish kilometers (Google Maps informed us our destination was 187 km away) and by the time we got to Fujairah, the car still had an impressive 70 kilometers of range to go. Of course, we got there and charged the Zoe at one of the new charging stations opened during the EVRT, but I must highlight that we drove it like a regular car doing 110 – 130 km/h on the highway. After two and a half hours, the Zoe was ready to return home to Dubai.
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The Zoe 40 is the most affordable electric car currently on sale. I personally encourage you to test drive it and experience how electric cars drive, but also how they should be driven. Therefore, it will not be enough to take it out from the showroom and go for a short spin. Electric vehicles (if you are a new potential owner) need a bit more time before you get comfortable with the workings.
Shift Car Leasing is a part of Arabian Automobiles and is the only company to go to and rent the Zoe for a couple of days before purchasing one. Go, treat yourself and make a more informed decision. Rent it for no less than a weekend, take your family/fiancé /girlfriend for a nice drive to Fujairah and let us know how you get on.
If you are part of this “new” potential electric car buyer market, I’ll recommend these 7 steps for newbies while buying or thinking about buying an electric car HERE!
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