Renault ZOE launches in the UAE
Adding to an already exciting year for the growth of the electric vehicle market in the United Arab Emirates, Renault officially launched the Zoe 40 model there, on Monday 30th October 2017 in Dubai. As of this week, you can visit a showroom in Dubai for a test drive and purchase the 300 km range car for AED 129,900 ($35,400).
This is the breakthrough long-range Zoe that has been on the European market for one year. It can be charged at over 100 DEWA charging stations across Dubai, with that network set to double by the end of the year, as well as a range of other charging stations across the country.
Renault was the first car manufacturer to offer a fully electric vehicle in the UAE, first selling 8 units of the Zoe to Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) in 2015. Some EV fanatics followed, but with a range of 160 km, and with charging infrastructure still in progress, not many were sold. But 2017 has been an exciting year for electric vehicles in the UAE, with huge steps made through government incentives, Tesla’s arrival, and the charging infrastructure doubling in just a few months. Now this move to bring the long-range Zoe 40 will add to the excitement, with an aim to maintain a leadership position for Renault in the UAE with a car that beats Tesla vehicles in price but still has a range to satisfy most city drivers.
At roughly $35,400 (USD) to buy the Renault Zoe 40 in the UAE, some would argue that the price is still high in comparison to ICE cars and Zoe 40 models in other countries. However, it is a great car for people and businesses who want to show their commitment to the inevitable shift towards electric vehicles, which could ultimately spark further government incentives to allow for a lower price. This marks the beginning of a diversified market in the UAE, and will no doubt fast-forward the inevitable entrance of other car manufacturers to the country and region, even though no official announcements have yet been made.
The launch event saw the key players of the electric vehicle market in the UAE gather at Jumeirah Golf Estates Club House to see and test drive the cars. Marwan Haidamous, Marketing Director of Renault Middle East, welcomed guests with a speech where he outlined Groupe Renault’s sustainability and profitable growth strategy: “Drive The Future 2017 – 2022.” These plans include the release of 15 more electric vehicles as well as connected cars by the year 2022.
Attending the launch in Dubai, Guillaume Berthier, the Sales and Marketing Director for electric vehicles internationally at Groupe Renault, said, “Globally we focus on countries where we feel the potential for electric vehicles is huge, and in Dubai we saw these early signs, such as from the DEWA and RTA.” He explained that the UAE is also the first country in the Middle East to have the necessary regulations in place to allow for the importing of the Zoe. However, they have recently launched the Renault Twizy fully electric car in Lebanon and are in planning stages with Jordan and Kuwait to launch the Zoe 40 there soon. Emmanuel Guiffault, Marketing Director for Renault Middle East, commented that “we can feel in Dubai that everyone is already excited by this technology.”
Discussing global growth, Berthier added: “Last year in Europe we experienced a switch in EVs, and now it won’t stop, the question is only how fast will it go. The cherry on the cake will be with car to grid integration. Renault are investing a lot in this through “Renault Energy Service,” an entity dedicated to smart charging and second life batteries.”
Speaking on behalf of electric vehicle consumers in the UAE, Ben Pullen of Global EVRT said: “The launch of the new Renault Zoe in the UAE is a great step in providing consumers with more choice of electric vehicles to buy or lease. Until today it has been very difficult, and at times frustrating, for consumers and businesses in the UAE who have wanted to incorporate electric vehicles into their life. Having driven the Renault Zoe 40 model almost 8,000 km across the UAE and Europe we know that it’s a fantastic car to drive and we look forward to using it again on our road trips.”
The upcoming Electric Vehicle Road Trip Middle East by Global EVRT will take EV advocates (or sceptics!) across the UAE and Oman, giving them the rare opportunity in this region to experience EV technology long distance. There was a sense of excitement in the air at the Renault Zoe 40 launch, as attendees knew this marked a huge step forward for the market in the Middle East region. Test rides were taken from Jumeirah Golf Estates Club House to The Sustainable City in Dubai, where the cars were able to charge at some of the many public DEWA charging stations across Dubai.