US consulting firm E3 to advise Oman on electric vehicle regulatory framework

05 June 2018 4 min. read

US environmental consultancy Energy & Environmental Economics have been brought in by Oman’s Authority for Electricity Regulation to study the Sultanate’s path towards electric vehicle adoption.

Energy & Environmental Economics (E3) will advise the Sultanate of Oman on its venture to introduce electric vehicles (EVs). The San Fransisco-based consulting firm will conduct a review of international best practice within the electric vehicle (EV) sector and assess how regulatory frameworks globally have evolved in relation to supporting the adoption of both EVs and hybrids.

Oman’s future regulatory framework for electric vehicle adoption is in expert hands with E3, which has extensive experience in charging infrastructure and EV adoption. The consulting firm, which specialises in energy transition, public policy and technology-driven sustainability has been working extensively on EV adoption in the US as well as globally.

The Authority for Electricity Regulation made the appointment of E3 public on Twitter last week, stating: “The authority appoints E3 to provide an assessment of the key regulatory issues relevant to the use of electric vehicles in Oman.”

The firm has previously worked on a number of small and large-scale EV evaluations including designing a regulatory strategy for an EV infrastructure pilot in Southern California, advising the Port of Long Beach in its electrification through rate-discounts, and the design and implementation of an EV charging tariff in San Diego.

Working with San Diego Gas & Electric, E3 launched a pilot programme using pricing to efficiently integrate electric vehicle charging into the energy-grid back in 2014. The modelling used projected wholesale energy prices developed through E3’s stochastic production simulation tool; Renewable Energy Flexibility Model. 

Energy & Environmental Economics will advise Oman on electric vehicle regulatory framework

The tool will prove helpful in Oman, as the country prepares to shift away from its dependence on fossil fuels in the energy-grid in line with its economy. The Sultanate’s transition towards sustainable and renewable energy in conjunction with future projections for the EV market will also be taken into account by the consulting firm when designing the future of the regulatory framework.

By using forward projections and estimates, E3 will attempt to develop best practice for the transition based on international standards. These standards must ensure that Oman’s framework is in line with its Middle Eastern neighbours in terms of pricing, connection design, metering and public safety. The consulting firm will also observe the effect that tariffs will have in the Sultanate and their effects on public subsidies on the energy sector.

In the Forward Work Plan for 2018, the Authority for Electricity Regulation outlines the E3’s objectives as; “to carry out a review of international best practice in relation to the regulatory framework to support the introduction of Electric Vehicles including, but not limited to potential capital costs from development of public EV recharge stations, network and connection issues, safety issues, metering costs and the required licence and Code modifications.”

“As an initial step, the Authority wishes to retain experienced consulting advisers to undertake a high-level review of international best practice and to assess the extent to which those approaches could be adapted, given the specific circumstances in Oman. This initial work will make specific recommendations for steps that the Authority should consider immediately to facilitate the use of Electric Vehicles in Oman, together with broader recommendations for future studies.”

Electric vehicle and charging proponent in the Middle East, GreenParking, have jumped the gun on the new framework, having installed over 200 EV charging stations in Oman and the UAE. The intention of the project is to make the drive from Dubai to Muscat possible with an EV and to demonstrate that EVs are not just an environmentally friendly options for the future but that they are real options for car buyers today.

“Electric vehicles are the future of transport and they will soon be a common sight on the UAE’s roads. We are delighted to be helping to lay the foundations for a revolution in transport in the Middle East,” said Mr. Sam Alawiye, CEO GreenParking. “We plan to have a total of around 40 to 50 stations in Oman by the end of the year,” Alawiye concluded.