The Platform


Oil-rich Saudi Arabia wants a piece of the electric vehicle pie.

In a move reflective of the times, the Public Investment Fund (PIF) and Saudi Electricity Co. have inaugurated the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Co. This innovative endeavor aims to invigorate the growth of electric vehicles in Saudi Arabia, harmoniously dovetailing with the broader Saudi Vision 2030. With PIF at the helm holding a 75% stake and Saudi Electricity Co. contributing the remainder, this alliance is poised to revolutionize the Saudi automotive domain.

Arab News writes: “The company aims to enhance Saudi Arabia’s automotive ecosystem, through collaboration with EV companies, by supplying the necessary charging stations to meet future demand.”

The company’s mission is to develop state-of-the-art EV fast-charging infrastructure across Saudi Arabia, thereby nurturing the domestic automotive sector and propelling the ubiquity of electric vehicles.

Gleaning insights from global paradigms, the company envisions a prominent footprint in over 1,000 strategic outposts, with a goal of deploying in excess of 5,000 fast chargers by 2030. These charging hubs, nestled in urban epicenters and spanning major thoroughfares, will comply with exacting standards, reflecting the practices of EV vanguard nations.

Central to this initiative is the ambition to fortify Saudi Arabia’s automotive ecosystem. Collaborative overtures with EV stalwarts will guarantee an ample supply of requisite charging apparatus, mirroring strategies adopted by global EV trailblazers.

Moreover, the new company ardently seeks private sector engagement to bolster its charging grid. This endeavor strives to foster research and development localization and the fabrication of advanced tech components, enhancing national competency and adaptability. This strategy resonates with nations that have adeptly grown their own EV sectors, spurring economic vibrancy.

In establishing this new EV focused company, there’s a synergy with PIF’s grand strategy of augmenting Saudi’s automotive prowess. This initiative positions the country as a contender in the electrified epoch of the auto industry, drawing cues from nations adept in leveraging EV innovations.

This progressive initiative is set to greatly bolster Saudi Arabia’s economic diversification ambitions, igniting non-oil GDP growth and spawning job opportunities. It reflects the trajectories of countries capitalizing on their EV sectors to fortify their economies and diminish fossil fuel reliance.

Globally, several nations stand out as beacons in EV infrastructure evolution, offering invaluable lessons for Saudi Arabia.

A paragon of EV adoption, Norway extends tax breaks and toll privileges to EV aficionados, catalyzing swift adoption. Their charging grid, a product of public-private symbiosis, is vast and comprehensive.

As the world’s premier EV market, China leans heavily on governmental backing, proliferating its charging solutions and promoting local EV production.

Renowned for its avant-garde approach to EVs, the Netherlands focuses on smart charging systems and groundbreaking charging tech, facilitated by holistic collaborations.

Prioritizing highway fast-chargers, Germany synergizes its EV push with renewable energy, emphasizing standardized charging mechanisms.

Under its Zero Emission Vehicle mandate, California has engendered market growth, buttressed by incentives and awareness drives.

For Saudi Arabia, the blueprint is clear: a holistic strategy encompassing fiscal enticements, regulatory scaffolds, multifaceted partnerships, and robust infrastructure investment. Pairing EV growth with renewable energy targets can diminish carbon footprints, dovetailing with Saudi Vision 2030’s green aspirations. Engaging with global partners can expedite Saudi’s metamorphosis into a dynamic EV hub.

Dr. Vince Hooper, originally from Devonport, Plymouth, UK, boasts an impressive teaching and research career in several esteemed business schools. His commitment to student success is evident through his mentorship in investment banking, multinational enterprise finance, and various accounting, finance, and strategy topics. Vince's impact even reverberates in legal realms. He spearheaded the introduction of video-link evidence in international court proceedings in South Africa, marking a pivotal step forward in legal history. Additionally, he has consulted for significant initiatives, including the Group of 15 summit on capital market integration, plus organized numerous international symposiums.