In a recent statement, Kuwait Ports Authority (KPA) announced that it has approved a proposal for a dedicated “EV City.” The city would act as a centre for makers of EVs in the Middle East, the statement said.
Although it is unclear where the city will be located, the process for design and constructions tenders will commence in FY 2021-22.
The project is in line with Kuwait’s Vision 2035 to diversify the country’s economy. It aims to promote a reputation for Kuwait as a financial and commercial hub.
EV makers often circumvent local distribution networks to sell directly to consumers, the statement noted, and ports commonly provide some infrastructure to such car manufacturers. The KPA intends to do the same for manufactures of EVs in the Middle East, General Manager at KPA Yousef Al Abdullah Al Sabah said.
“KPA is able to provide all port and logistics services to the biggest global companies manufacturing electric cars,” Al Sabah said.
The KPA also recently announced plans for logistics cities to support local trade. The cities will be built on two million square metres of recently acquired land. Further, a smart port is also in the works. The port would integrate automation and other technologies, and serve as a "contact point” for various stakeholders.
EVs IN THE MIDDLE EAST
According to a report by the International Energy Agency (IEA), the global EV market is looking at a decade of expansion opportunities. Despite a contraction of 16% in the global auto industry overall, a record three million new electric cars were registered last year.
While China has emerged as the foremost market for EV production, Germany and the US are also top contenders. The Asian superpower is expected to produce about 13 million battery and plug-in hybrid EVs by 2023. In contrast, Germany and the US are each planning to make over 4000 of these vehicles by the same time frame.
Catching up to global strides in this space, a number of policies and initiatives aimed at supporting the growth of EVs in the Middle East market have recently emerged. In the UAE, for instance, the Dubai Taxi Corporation signed a deal in 2017 to acquire 200 Tesla EVs, while EV owners in Sharjah can avail free charging facilities.
Elsewhere, the World Bank is working on an Air Pollution Management and Climate Change Project in Egypt, including the development of electric buses and EV infrastructure.
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