A growing number of UAE motorists are switching to hybrid and electric cars to cut costs amid rising petrol prices, experts say.
The cost of petrol in the Emirates increased by 12 per cent in July, and now stands at more than Dh4.50 a litre. Vehicle manufacturers and dealerships have recorded ‘stronger than ever” demand for an alternative to petrol-based cars.
Globally, there are just under 20 million passenger EVs on the road (including plug-in hybrids), representing 1.5% of the global fleet according to BloombergNEF’s Electric Vehicle Outlook 2022. Analysts have predicted that figure will double again by the end of next year.
The report also says that EV sales in the US – 5% of new car sales – have passed a critical tipping point that signals the start of mass EV adoption.
EVs and hybrids have been in-demand in many countries for several years now, but sales in the UAE have been noticeably higher since petrol prices started to increase.
A recent report, commissioned by Audi Abu Dhabi and produced by YouGov, found that 52 per cent of customers are looking to switch to hybrid/electric vehicles. A quarter of the 1,000 people surveyed said they are waiting for more EV options to be launched before making a purchase, while 14 per cent expressed buyers’ remorse after purchasing a petrol car instead of a hybrid.
Andy Barratt, managing director of Al Futtaim Lexus and Al Futtaim Toyota, said its Toyota Hybrid sales have grown consistently year-on-year since 2016, with growth of 33 per cent in 2017, 42 per cent in 2018, 147 per cent in 2019, 52 per cent in 2020 and 108 per cent in 2021.
The 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid starts at about Dh86,867. The Lexus RX and ES hybrid models have also been popular in the UAE, having seen a 22 per cent increase in demand since last year. Prices start at Dh176,379. One of the most expensive hybrid cars for sale in the UAE is the Ferrari SF90 Stradale, which costs Dh1,766,100