• New venture coinciding with World Environment Day plans to roll out electric vehicles across nine cities in MENA by 2020
• Fleet of electric vehicles for commercial transport launched in Dubai through Careem in pilot phase
Dubai, United Arab Emirates 05 June, 2018: Crescent Enterprises, the UAE-based diversified conglomerate, and Bee'ah, the Middle East's leading and award-winning environmental management company, today announced the launch of a joint venture, ION – a sustainable commercial transport company.
ION's operations include the development, acquisition and management of electric vehicle (EV) fleets for commercial use, deployed through platforms such as ride-hailing services, as well as corporate and government fleets.
Coinciding with World Environment Day, the joint venture has announced plans to deploy fleets of energy-efficient Tesla vehicles to complement the transport network across nine cities in the MENA region. With a phased roll out planned until 2020, the collaborative effort will also align with the establishment of a regulatory framework governing the use of electric vehicles in the target markets. The company also aims to embrace a holistic approach and extend beyond electric mobility to eventually include power generation and storage products.
Khaled Al Huraimel, Group CEO of Bee'ah, said: “We are delighted to join forces with Crescent Enterprises in this game-changing initiative dedicated to enhancing the sustainability of sectors such as transportation across the MENA region. As a company that actively facilitates the adoption of a green economy, we understand the role of environment-friendly transportation in reducing our overall carbon footprint. We believe that ION will play an instrumental role in consolidating the UAE's green credentials.
“Bee'ah has been an early adopter of green technology and has invested in a number of initiatives that showcase our passion for integrating innovation with eco-friendly practices. We have optimised our services by deploying a fleet of smart vehicles, including Tesla's new Semi trucks, while the former's state-of-the-art Powerpack has facilitated our ambition of turning our new headquarters into a net zero energy building. The historic launch of ION represents yet another milestone on our journey towards a greener and more sustainable future.”
Following the announcement at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2018, Bee'ah had become the first company in the Middle East to place an order for Tesla's revolutionary, electric Semi trucks.
Aspiring to play a prominent role in the conversation about electric cars, ION seeks to engage with electric utility regulators, road transport authorities, legislators, environmental agencies and customer groups to gain insights and shape policies that will accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles.
For his part, Samer Choucair, Vice President of CE-Creates, the business incubation division of Crescent Enterprises, said: “In line with the UAE Vision 2021, and the UAE Government's ambitious clean energy targets, ION is setting a new precedent for private sector participation in this sustainability drive – not just through dialogue but real action. Our goal is to roll out a fully green fleet management enterprise in the UAE and across the wider region. We are proud to take this revolutionary step with Bee'ah – a company we deeply admire for its focus on environmental sustainability – and look forward to positioning ION as a leader in this space.”
He added: “Energy policies in the region have witnessed significant shifts in recent years as a matter of economic, social and environmental necessity. We believe that this venture will pave the way for positive and fundamental behavioural changes that can accelerate the drive towards a sustainable zero-emission transport system.”
The renewables sector is a high priority for all governments in the Gulf region. In this context, the UAE announced a decision to raise its clean energy target to 50 per cent of its energy mix by 2050, while Saudi Arabia has indicated an ambition to produce 10 per cent of its electricity from renewable resources by 2032. Across the wider MENA Region, countries such as Jordan and Morocco have also set similar targets as they aim to reduce their dependence on hydrocarbons.
ION has already piloted its fleet of turquoise Tesla Model S electric vehicles in Dubai through the ride-hailing service, Careem in May 2018. Users of the application can now book ION's iconic electric cars for a ride anywhere in Dubai. The company is additionally in talks with regulators to expand its UAE fleet operations to Abu Dhabi by Q3 2018.