RCJY delegates discuss opportunities with US businesses

Updated 01 September 2015

RCJY delegates discuss opportunities with US businesses

RIYADH: Delegates from the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu (RCJY) visited the US state of Ohio, where they attended a US-Saudi Arabian Business Council (USSABC) and discussed Saudi market opportunities for American businesses in order to further enhance cordial economic cooperation between the two friendly countries.
"An executive delegation from the Royal Commission at Yanbu, the master planner and managing authority for the Yanbu Industrial City, attended an exclusive business round-table in Columbus, Ohio, recently where the attendees from both sides discussed market opportunities and coordination," David Callahan, vice president for business advisory services at the USSABC, Riyadh, told Arab News on Tuesday.
The Columbus program was organized by the USSABC, he added.
Commenting on the objective behind the visit, he said: "The program was aimed at sharing information, address concerns and engage in dialogue with a select group of companies who are in the target industries that Yanbu industrial city project would like to support and see grow in the Kingdom for concerted economic cooperation."
He said these target sectors include downstream petrochemicals and plastics, consumer goods, rubber, renewable energy, automotive parts, multi-modal logistics and spare parts for oil and gas, petrochemical and desalination technology-based industries.
He noted that during the meeting, the RCJY delegates also discussed the infrastructure support, financial incentives, availability of key feedstocks and the market demand for these target industries in the Kingdom.
At this bilateral trade and business meet, the Saudi delegation was led by Zaidan Yousef, director general of strategic planning and investment development at RCJY.
Notably, Yanbu Industrial City has been a magnet for foreign investment and industrial activity for the past 40 years and under the leadership of the Royal Commission. The city is anticipated to become the world’s largest refining hub by 2019 and one of Saudi Arabia’s favored locations for the ongoing rapid industrial development.
According to the figures provided by the USSABC, when combined with Jubail Industrial City, the Royal Commission accounts for 65 percent of the industrial investment in the entire Gulf region and enjoys a 20.2 percent average annual growth rate in terms of FDI. Both cities are managed by the RCJY.
Earlier, speaking at the meet, USSABC President and CEO Edward Burton said: “Yanbu’s competitive package of land, utility and infrastructure services coupled with its access to Middle Eastern, European, Asian and African markets make it a must for consideration for any international firm looking to expand its footprint in the Gulf region.”


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.

FASTFACT

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.