Saudi firms to boost Korean trade

Updated 11 October 2014

Saudi firms to boost Korean trade

Seoul will host the next Saudi-South Korea business forum from Oct. 29 to 31, which aims to further enhance economic cooperation between the two countries.
Announcing this in Riyadh on Saturday, South Korean Ambassador Kim Jin-soo, said bilateral investment would top the agenda during the three-day long business forum in the South Korean capital.
He added that the high-profile business meet will be attended by Minister of Commerce and Industry Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, Minister of Economy and Planning Muhammad Al-Jasser, Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) Gov. Abdullatif A. Al-Othman and Yoon Sang-Jick, minister of trade, industry and energy for South Korea, to discuss formidable collaborations in order to bolster bilateral ties.
He stated that 51 Saudi companies have confirmed their participation for the significant business forum, which seeks comprehensive cooperation between the Kingdom and South Korea. The final agenda of the forum, which is spread over nine sessions, is yet to be finalized. However, sources said, energy will be a key issue to be discussed comprehensively.
Notably Hashim Abdullah Yamani, president of King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE), will also participate in the forum, which is expected to have the huge presence of the Saudi-South Korean business community.
KACARE is a dream project aiming to build a sustainable future for the Kingdom by developing a substantial alternative energy capacity fully supported by world-class local industries.
Apart from the B2B sessions, the forum will host an accompanying exhibition during the same period, from Oct. 29 to 31, to exhibit the products of mutual interest as the forum aims at promoting closer cooperation between the two countries.
Saudi Arabia and South Korea have expanded the scope of cooperation across the sectors by carrying out joint investment projects in vital sectors, economy and planning, and the two friendly countries are now the fourth largest trade partners, with the volume of trade reaching $46.5 billion in 2013.
According to organizers, the forum is expected to change the direction of economic ties from reliance on trade to trade plus investment.

Electric luxury vehicles, SUVs ‘more likely to cause accidents’

Updated 23 August 2019

Electric luxury vehicles, SUVs ‘more likely to cause accidents’

  • As EV sales rise, French insurer AXA warns that drivers are struggling to adapt to cars’ rapid acceleration

LONDON: Electric luxury cars and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) may be 40 percent more likely to cause accidents than their standard engine counterparts, possibly because drivers are still getting used to their quick acceleration, French insurer AXA said.

The numbers, based on initial trends from claims data and not statistically significant, also suggest small and micro electric cars are slightly less likely to cause accidents than their combustion engine counterparts, AXA said at a crash test demonstration on Thursday.

AXA regularly carries out crash tests for vehicles. This year’s tests, which took place at a disused airport, focused on electric cars.

Overall accident rates for electric vehicles are about the same as for regular cars, according to liability insurance claims data for “7,000 year risks” — on 1,000 autos on the road for seven years — said Bettina Zahnd, head of accident research and prevention at AXA Switzerland.

“We saw that in the micro and small-car classes slightly fewer accidents are caused by electric autos. If you look at the luxury and SUV classes, however, we see 40 percent more accidents with electric vehicles,” Zahnd said.

“We, of course, have thought about what causes this and acceleration is certainly a topic.”

Electric cars accelerate not only quickly, but also equally strongly no matter how high the revolutions per minute, which means drivers can find themselves going faster than they intended.


Accident rates among luxury and SUV electric vehicles are 40 percent higher than for their combustion engine counterparts.

Half of electric car drivers in a survey this year by AXA had to adjust their driving to reflect the new acceleration and braking characteristics.

“Maximum acceleration is available immediately, while it takes a moment for internal combustion engines with even strong horsepower to reach maximum acceleration. That places new demands on drivers,” Zahnd said.

Sales of electric cars are on the rise as charging infrastructure improves and prices come down.

Electric vehicles accounted for less than 1 percent of cars on the road in Switzerland and Germany last year, but made up 1.8 percent of Swiss new car sales, or 6.6 percent including hybrids, AXA said.

Accidents with electric cars are just about as dangerous for people inside as with standard vehicles, AXA said. The cars are subject to the same tests and have the same passive safety features such as airbags and seatbelts.

But another AXA survey showed most people do not know how to react if they come across an electric vehicle crash scene.

While most factors are the same — securing the scene, alerting rescue teams and providing first aid — it said helpers should also try to ensure the electric motor is turned off. This is particularly important because unlike an internal combustion engine the motor makes no noise. In serious crashes, electric autos’ high-voltage power plants automatically shut down, AXA noted, but damaged batteries can catch fire up to 48 hours after a crash, making it more difficult to deal with the aftermath of
an accident.

For one head-on crash test on Thursday, AXA teams removed an electric car’s batteries to reduce the risk of them catching fire, which could create intense heat and toxic fumes.

Zahnd said that studies in Europe had not replicated US findings that silent electric vehicles are as much as two-thirds more likely to cause accidents with pedestrians or cyclists.

She said the jury was still out on how crash data would affect the cost of insuring electric versus standard vehicles, noting this always reflected factors around both driver and car.

“If I look around Switzerland, there are lots of insurers that even give discounts for electric autos because one would like to promote electric cars,” she said.