RIYADH: Growing gasoline prices will play a significant role in increasing the demand for electric vehicles in the Kingdom, according to Anwar Gasim, a King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center researcher.
“The higher the domestic gasoline price, the more a consumer may be incentivized to switch to an electric vehicle,” he told Arab News.
According to Gasim, gasoline prices in the Kingdom seven years ago were a quarter of today’s prices.
“If you look at the 91-octane gasoline, it was SR0.45 ($0.12) per liter. Today, it’s SR2.18,” Gasim said in an exclusive interview with Arab News.
Since 2016, the Kingdom has implemented energy price reforms to unlock economic and environmental benefits for the country.
“Since gasoline prices ended up getting linked with the international price, the government had to put a cap on them when international prices went up very high last year,” said Gasim.
It means there is a limit that domestic gasoline prices will not surpass, no matter how high energy prices may hike internationally.
“I think it was becoming too high for people here, and then the government decided to put a cap,” he said.
According to Gasim, raising domestic energy prices can contribute to the Kingdom’s climate goals.
Saudi Arabia aims to reduce emissions and increase the share of renewables to 50 percent by 2030.
“Higher energy prices can incentivize more efficient behavior, more energy conservation, and therefore it can help save energy and reduce emissions,” he added.
KAPSARC was a part of the regulatory team led by the Ministry of Energy, which on Aug. 22 issued the completion of all legislative and technical aspects to regulate the EV charging market.
These stations will more likely charge the vehicles using the national grid. Still, there are possibilities that off-grid stations will be a requirement.
Some neighborhood distribution networks can no longer accommodate any additional load. They have reached the peak of the transformer capacity.
The only option is using off-grid solutions; renewable sources like solar and hydrogen can supply these off-grids.
Electromin, a wholly owned e-mobility turnkey solutions provider under Petromin, in May announced the rollout of electric vehicle charging points across the Kingdom.
In an earlier interview with Arab News, Kalyana Sivagnanam, the group CEO of Petromin, said that the network includes 100 locations across the Kingdom powered by a customer-centric mobile application.
Sivagnanam said that the company would set up most of its charging stations in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam and eventually branch out across the country.
Electromin’s charging network will offer a complete spectrum of services from AC chargers to DC fast and ultrafast chargers, catering to all customer segments.
The imports of EV charging equipment were permitted in the Kingdom in 2020.
As part of the Kingdom’s sustainability strategy, the Royal Commission of Riyadh launched an initiative last year to ensure that 30 percent of all vehicles in the capital would be powered by electricity by 2030.