Qatar Electric Vehicles Challenges and Opportunities
Qatar is positioning itself to be a leader in the Gulf region for the adoption of electric vehicles (EV).
Electric vehicles play an important role in Qatar’s achievement of its National Vision 2030. As global demand and government support and subsidies increase for EVs, Qatar is moving quickly to facilitate their adoption and reduce its carbon emissions. Qatar recently established sustainability goals and renewable energy targets that start as early as 2022, and is diversifying its investments to transition to an eco-friendlier, more sustainable economy. Qatar’s EV strategy aims to install over 600 charging stations to support electric buses in advance of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
With the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup and the commitment to reduce its carbon footprint, Qatar has established an ambitious Electric Vehicle Strategy that was set in motion in September 2021. One of the goals outlined in the strategy is to transition 25 percent of Qatar’s public transit bus fleet from gasoline to electric by 2022 and reach 100 percent compliance by 2030. While electric cars are very uncommon in Qatar right now, market share for electric cars is expected to increase as car chargers are installed throughout the country.
Qatar’s utility entity, the General Electricity and Water Corporation (called KAHRAMAA), launched in November 2020 a Charging Units Infrastructure Guideline promoting the use of fast chargers. The country currently has over 20 charging stations and it aims to have 100 installed in 2021. In September 2021, Qatar recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ABB, a Swedish–Swiss multinational corporation to produce electric chargers for EVs in the country. As for consumer vehicles, due to Qatar’s interest in EVs, high GDP per capita, and proactive approach to building the necessary infrastructure to support EVs (i.e. charging stations), car makers view Qatar as a platform to showcase their newest EV models such as Fiat’s (500) Red and MG ZS EV. Other car makers are expected to follow suit through 2022 due to the increased visibility from the World Cup.
The Qatari agencies that are leading the change in the EVs sector are the Ministry of Transport (MOT), KAHRAMAA through the National Programme for Conservation and Energy Efficiency (Tarsheed), and academic bodies such as the Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute of Qatar Foundation.
U.S. companies can get into this market by participating in the procurement opportunities that Qatari entities offer by visiting Qatar’s Government Procurement Services website, partnering with existing players in the local market, or entering the value chains that serve the market. American suppliers engaged in different areas of the EV supply chain are encouraged to reach out to the U.S. Commercial Service in Doha to evaluate market potential, learn about opportunities, and explore business matchmaking, market research, or other assistance.
For more information about the electric vehicles sector in Qatar, please contact Juan Catril, Juan.Catril@trade.gov.