Dubai, Of All Places, Is Offering Free Parking For EV Drivers

Electric Car

And that's just one of several perks.

The oil-rich United Arab Emirates is already planning for a post-oil future. Ironic, isn’t it? According to Bloomberg, Dubai, the largest and most populated city in the Gulf nation, is set to provide free parking and toll-free driving to EV owners because carbon emissions are bad. And yes, Dubai is the very same city that has 14-lane highways and, therefore, a shit ton of cars on the road. But the time has come, city executives have realized, to prepare for the next era.

The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has a goal to have 32,000 electric cars on the road by 2020, and 42,000 by 2030. DEWA is already preparing for this. For example, back in 2015 it installed 100 charging stations throughout the city, and another 100 are planned for 2018. To sweeten the deal for drivers to go electric, DEWA will register these owners in a database that will allow them to enjoy not only free parking spaces and exemptions from tolls and vehicle registration fees, but also free charging until the end of 2019. Yes, all of this from a country that can thank crude oil-production for a vast majority of its wealth.

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In fact, Dubai, which happens to also be the second-largest sheikhdom in the UAE, holds 6 percent of the world’s oil reserves. And it’s using that income very wisely. For example, it’s currently building a $327 million solar plant. Tesla, not surprisingly and very conveniently timed, opened its first showroom there last July. Crude oil sales to finance carbon emissions reduction. Ironic, yes, but it’s just plain smart business.

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