UAE electric vehicle

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is keen to lead the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs).

In this article, you will discover the increasing demand in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) for transport electrification and the actions being taken to increase the rollout of the charging infrastructures.

UAE electric transport market

Despite the region’s wealth in oil and fossil fuels, renewable energy remains a key focus for governmental bodies, which are influenced by the desire to be the pioneers in clean technologies and environmental concerns.

Government policies and incentives to adopt EVs are predicted to significantly drive market growth in the coming years with countries such as Saudi Arabia leading the way.

The UAE is at the forefront of innovation with 200 Tesla EVs being introduced into the Dubai Taxi industry. This was the first step in Dubai’s plan to promote green mobility solutions, linked to the government’s ambitions to reach a quota of 25% of trips made by self-drive vehicles by 2030.

Dubai’s two-part strategy relies heavily on the EV charging infrastructure, investing in the build of hundreds of charging stations around the city.

The neighbouring city of Sharjah has also contributed to electrification by introducing 50 semi-electric Tesla trucks back in 2020, to add to its waste management fleet.

Infrastructure considerations

EVs offer significant potential for reducing pollution, improving the environment, and also creating new industries. However, the region will need a network of electric charging stations large enough to cater to the growing number of EVs and their drivers.

  • Solar rooftop panels are being installed across the Middle East including electric vehicle charging stations. With the abundant supply of sunlight, the solar energy market is an appealing investment
  • One challenge MEAF is faced with, like many other regions is electrical load and capacity, with EVs putting additional pressure on the electrical grid. Vehicle to grid smart charging systems have been introduced to maximise energy optimisation
  • MEAF is currently near ten years behind Europe in its adoption of charging infrastructures. The technology to provide reliable charging infrastructure already exists, however, collaboration and cooperation is central to the success

Although there currently are no mandated legal requirements in MEAF for standardised charging components – such as charging cables and connectors, quality assessments are strongly recommended to prove technologies and safeguard the delivery of efficient charging.

Charging cable standards and testing

There are two cable standards developed to support the EV market. With the use of smart charging devices, charging cables can be expected to supply both power and communication. The IEC 62893 and EN 50620 standards specify and recommend cable types and test methods that should be complied with.

Third-party testing and approval companies carry out independent testing to the highest levels of quality to ensure the cable can withstand environmental conditions once in service, including:

  • Weathering resistance – most EV charging stations are located outdoors, therefore both EV charging cable standards involve a weathering test, designed to assess polymeric materials’ ability to withstand ultraviolet light exposure and weather changes through accelerating ageing conditions
  • High-temperature pressure – the need for convenient fast-charging means cables are subject to high volumes of power passing through the cable and as a result, ables can get extremely hot. A hot pressure test falls under the IEC / EN 60811-508 standard and determines the highest temperature a cable can withstand before performance and safety are compromised
  • Water immersion – as EV charging cables are commonly outdoors they are likely to come into contact with rain and thus, cables must present water-resistant properties. IEC 62893-1/EN 50620 assessments involve the submerging of cable samples in a water solution for 7 days and monitoring their deterioration over time

Certifications delivered by BASEC, the cabling experts, offer a rigorous approach to measuring charging cable performance. Understanding how a cable is impacted when exposed to different environments helps with specification or installer considerations and, purchasing cables from an approved manufacturer provides validation of product quality.

It is clear regional plans are underway to support the imminent increased demands for electrified vehicle charging. For a successful EV rollout, the use of approved cables in charging stations is required to protect charging infrastructures.

Haroon Qteishat, business development manager MEA, BASEC

For more information download the free electric vehicle brochure: https://www.basec.org.uk/download-your-electric-vehicle-guide/

About the author
Haroon Qteishat leads the development of business in the Middle East and Africa region for BASEC. He is experienced in sales, key account management, certification, vehicle tracking and energy management