Middle East shifting gear in electrical mobility, finds global index

23 October 2023 Consultancy-me.com 6 min. read

Middle East countries have shifted yet another gear in their electrical mobility ambitions, with several countries improving their position in Arthur D. Little’s latest global benchmark of the electric mobility landscape.

Launched six years ago, the annual ‘Global Electric Mobility Readiness Index’ by global management consultancy firm Arthur D. Little analysis how countries rank in terms of electrical vehicles readiness. This year, a total of 35 countries were assessed, and demonstrating the Middle East’s rise in the scene, 13 of the assessed countries came from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

While the entire top five of the index have remained untouched, with Norway and China remaining in the front seat, the positions below have seen quite some overtakings, with the UAE rising one spot to 7th overall, and Qatar making an impressive debut in the list with a 9th spot.

Middle East shifting gear in electrical mobility, finds global index

Joran, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, and Algeria all ranked within the top 20 of the index, with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Iraq among the other MENA countries included in the worldwide benchmark. Many of these countries were assessed for the first time, with their inclusion in the study according to Arthur D. Little partner Joseph Salem a testimony to their commitment to sustainable transportation and electrical vehicles.

“The MENA region is well positioned to contribute to the global e-mobility landscape. With varying demographics, economic conditions, and energy generation capabilities, these countries offer a rich tapestry of opportunities and challenges. The report shows that MENA countries are not just participants but active contributors in shaping the future of electric mobility,” said Salem.

In the United Arab Emirates, the government's focus on sustainable transportation is evident. As part of the Dubai Green Mobility Strategy 2030, Dubai aims to have approximately 42,000 electric cars on its roads by 2030. The country has also made significant strides in charging infrastructure, boasting around 700 charging stations.

Furthermore, Arthur D. Little said that over 8 out of 10 individuals in the UAE are willing to purchase an electrical vehicle as their next vehicle.

Middle East shifting gear in electrical mobility, finds global index

Qatar’s progress towards green driving was highly commended in Arthur D. Little’s report. In line with Qatar National Vision 2030, the country has for example already achieved its target of electrifying 25% of its public transit bus fleet by 2022.

Alongside the government, financial institutions in Qatar are facilitating the adoption of electrical vehicles by offering green financing options, and approximately 74% of individuals are considering an electrical vehicle for their next vehicle purchase.

In Jordan, government support is driving significant interest in promoting electrical vehicles, predominantly among the young and urban population who are “much more likely” to embrace sustainable technologies like electrical vehicles. In Oman, Vision 2040 is shaping an accelerating roadmap towards greener driving, while in Kuwait, the government is contemplating regulation to enhance its public charging infrastructure.

Middle East shifting gear in electrical mobility, finds global index

According to Salem, one of the noteworthy trends across the MENA region is that governments are committed to electrical vehicles adoption, meaning growth is “not just a trend but a strategic move” aligned with broader climate action plans. “The transition to e-mobility is a strategic focus for governments, and are part of a broader commitment to net-zero emissions transport.”

“The commitment from governments is not just aspirational; it is backed by actionable plans and significant investments,” added Andreas Schlosser, partner at Arthur D. Little and the global leader of its Automotive practice.

Drivers going electric

When it comes to the willingness of customers to driving electric, the MENA region showed a relatively high purchase appetite. The UAE for example ranks 3rd, while Qatar and Morocco rank 7th and 8th respectively.

Middle East shifting gear in electrical mobility, finds global index

There are several reasons behind customer willingness scores, from the prices of cars and the maturity of public charging infrastructure, to range anxiety and how committed populations are to battle climate change. One notable correlation devised by Arthur D. Little is homeownership rates.

“Homeowners have the flexibility of charging installation, thereby making e-commutes more feasible. Some countries, such as Oman and Qatar, have fared well in the index due to upbeat customer readiness, primarily driven by homeownership rates,” explained Salem.

All in all, Schlosser said “the high willingness among consumers to switch to electric vehicles further solidifies the region's role as a key player in the global transition to sustainable mobility.”

The Global Electric Mobility Readiness Index

To come to its index scores for electrical vehicle readiness, Arthur D. Little assessed five major categories reflecting electrical vehicle uptake: (1) macro factors, (2) the market and competitive landscape, (3) customer electrical vehicle readiness, (4) public charging infrastructure, and (5) total cot of ownership for vehicles and government regulation.

Middle East shifting gear in electrical mobility, finds global index

Each category was further broken down into 6 to 16 specific data metrics, meaning that each country had 45+ data points. The final index score was derived from the aggregate of performance indicators from the five subcategories (with different weightings applied).

With COP28 on the verge of kicking off, sustainable mobility is emerging as a top priority for Middle East countries. A 2021 report found that investing in sustainable mobility is not just good for the climate, with it comes a range of economic opportunities as well, estimated to tally up to $400 billion in the mid- to longer-term.