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Qatar, the world’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter and OPEC member, has just opened its first electric vehicle (EV) charging station as part of a broader program to encourage the use of EVs and cut carbon emissions.
Qatar Electricity and Water Corporation, Kahramaa, has opened the first of nine charging stations under the first phase of Qatar’s ‘Green Car Initiative’. The first phase is a joint collaboration of Qatar’s program for energy efficiency Tarsheed, Siemens Qatar, and the real estate division of Alfardan Group. Siemens Qatar oversees the technical aspect of the project, local media report.
In May last year, Kahramaa and Qatar’s energy and transport ministries launched the ‘Green Car Initiative’ aiming to have 10 percent of the nation’s car fleet comprised of EVs by 2030.
Under a national strategy for sustainable and efficient energy that includes EV adoption, Qatar targets to reduce its carbon emissions by 17 percent by 2022. The Green Car Initiative aims to raise the share of electric or hybrid cars to between 2 percent and 4 percent of all cars in the country by 2022.
The Middle East is also trying to ride the EV wave as a means to diversify its economies, but also because the oil price crash emptied government coffers and some countries started to reduce the generous fuel subsidies for the gasoline that the local SUV-dominated fleet is consuming.
Related: Oil Majors: New Tech Will Save The Industry
Even Tesla set up shop in the Middle East, in the United Arab Emirates, last year.
At the end of November 2017, Chevrolet Middle East said that its Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle was to arrive to Dubai, in the UAE, and select markets in the Middle East within a year.
The rise of the EVs threatens to speed up the arrival of peak global oil demand that would hurt Middle Eastern oil producers. In one of the latest views on the peak oil issue, Fitch Ratings said last week that greater product awareness and technological changes could fast track the adoption of EVs that could plausibly lead to peak oil demand before 2030.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.