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Tesla is expanding its operations in the UAE, according to an email sent by the company to owners of its cars, inviting them to the event. The Emirati business – the first Tesla foray in the MENA region – will be based in Dubai, with the official launch set to take place later this month.
Tesla has operations in Western Europe, China, Japan, and Taiwan.
According to one strategic analyst from Limelight Creative Services, who spoke to Al Bawaba, the event is a demonstration of Tesla’s belief in its products and, more generally, its dedication to renewable energy.
“[…]if they can go into one of the largest oil-producing countries where gas is cheap, and be successful, it’s a symbolic gesture that the value proposition and the spirit and philosophy of Tesla are valuable even here in a rich oil-producing nation,” Colin Beaton said.
The move can be seen as another bold one for Elon Musk’s company, after Tesla missed its 2016 delivery target of 79,000 cars, delivering 76,230. The 79,000 figure was a downward revision on an earlier projection of 80,000-90,000 cars. Production last year, however, came in at 83,922 vehicles, a 64-percent annual increase.
Earlier this month, Tesla announced the start of production at its gigafactory in Nevada. The batteries made there will be fitted in Tesla’s energy storage systems and the Model 3 cars. By next year, Tesla plans to churn out 35 GWh annually, which would equal the lithium-ion production of the rest of the world.
Late last year, the company also announced the acquisition of a German engineering firm that would enable the quick expansion of production, eyeing an annual rate of half a million cars.
Though the UAE may not be the first place that springs to mind when it comes to electric vehicles, Dubai has earned a reputation as a place encouraging all modern technologies, including renewables: the emirate plans to spend US$163 billion until 2050 to make renewables the biggest part of its energy mix. Electric vehicles are a logical element of this shift to green energy, which bodes well for Tesla.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.