ION, the UAE-based sustainable and smart transportation company, has partnered with the Sharjah City Municipality (SCM), and Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA) to supply, install and operate public electric vehicle charging stations across the city of Sharjah. The new charging stations will play an important role in accelerating UAE’s ongoing electrification of its transportation and supporting the current electric vehicle network.
With a mandate to promote green mobility solutions in the region, ION, a joint venture between Bee’ah and CE-Creates, the business incubation platform of Crescent Enterprises, will build a vast network of charging stations across the Emirate in a phased approach, paving the way for greater use of electric vehicle mobility in the UAE. The partnership will encourage the mainstream adoption of electric vehicles by residents, who can avail free charging services.
The agreement between ION, SCM, and SEWA will further support the UAE Vision 2021 through achieving a sustainable environment in terms of air quality, increased reliance on clean energy, and green development within Sharjah. The global transport sector is acknowledged as a leading source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, as well as being a major contributor to urban air pollution.
Commenting on the occasion, HE Khaled Al Huraimel, Group CEO of Bee’ah and Chairman of ION, said: “We are transforming the way people use transportation in the Middle East region, by introducing services and solutions that allow for smart and sustainable mobility. Electric charging stations are an important component in the development of a zero-emissions transportation network in the UAE and wider region and we welcome the chance to work with partners such as SEWA and SCM to contribute to a better quality of life for the residents of Sharjah.”
Samer Choucair, Director, CE-Creates and Board Member, ION, commented: “At CE-Creates, we invest in business concepts that can bring positive change to communities. Our mandate is to ‘do good’ while ‘doing well’ and we believe ION meets this goal. With a phased roll-out planned until 2025, the collaborative effort between us and Bee’ah will be aligned with the establishment of regulatory frameworks governing the use of electric vehicles in the region. ION also aims to embrace a holistic approach and extend beyond electric mobility to include power generation and storage products.”
HE Dr. Rashid Alleem, the Chairman of Sharjah Electricity & Water Authority, elaborated on the new development, saying: “As the UAE lays out the blueprint to improve its environmental performance, we are also following the SEWA Vision 2020, to achieve a highly innovative and sustainable tomorrow. We are delighted to offer residents the ability and convenience to pursue greener modes of transport and look forward to working with ION and SCM to ensure the right infrastructure is in place to support electric vehicle users.”
Sharjah is fast-emerging as a hub for sustainability and is on track to become the first zero-waste city in the Middle East through a waste-to-energy plant. Sustainability across all aspects of transportation is another priority in Sharjah, with Bee’ah, who manages the city cleaning, having ordered 50 Tesla Semi electric trucks to add to its waste management fleet by this year.
HE Thabit Salim Al-Turaifi, Director-General at Sharjah City Municipality, also shared his views and stated: “As Sharjah positions itself to be more eco-friendly and technologically advanced, this agreement will be of vast importance to the success of green mobility in the city. Partnering with like-minded entities to unlock the potential of electric vehicles in Sharjah is a strong indicator of our commitment to creating a safe and sustainable environment for residents that enables them to adopt better quality lifestyles.”
There has been a rise in the number of electric vehicle motorists in the UAE as governments introduce policies and infrastructure that support sustainable transport. Several renowned electric vehicle companies have also established their presence in the country including Tesla and NAVYA.
The company is dedicated to bringing about a positive shift in attitude towards the use of sustainable modes of transport while supporting the nation’s strategy to reduce traffic growth and congestion by encouraging more efficient and environmentally friendly means of transport.
ION has recently partnered with NAVYA, a leading company in autonomous driving systems, to operate and maintain the company’s electric and autonomous shuttles as well as promote its vehicles and related activities in the UAE and the GCC region. ION is also providing next-generation mobility solutions within Masdar City, including a fleet of Chevrolet Bolt electric cars for on-demand, ride-hailing services as it expands operations across Abu Dhabi.