Muscat: The Intercontinental Hotel and Crowne Plaza will house Oman’s first electric vehicle (EV) charging stations as the Sultanate prepares to welcome the first commercial EVs on the roads next month.
Part of the Global Electric Vehicle Road Trip (EVRT) Middle East edition, the stations will be inaugurated from January 18 onwards at three locations — the Intercontinental Hotels in Muscat and Sohar and the Crowne Plaza in Muscat.
The stations, in partnership with international firm GreenParking, will be launched when the convoy of up to 10 vehicles stops to refuel during their 1,217 km trip from Abu Dhabi to Muscat to Dubai, without using a single drop of oil.
The convoy begins its nine-day trip from the Emirati capital on January 18, visiting the Madinat Zayed, before setting off to the neighbouring Omani cities of Sohar and Muscat. The cars will then return to the UAE, calling at Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah, before passing through Umm Al Quwain, Ajman and Sharjah.
It will reach its final destination, the Sustainable City in Dubai, on January 26 to join in a special family fun day celebrating the road trip and all things sustainable. The participants in the celebrations will get a chance to learn about electric cars through test drives, workshops and exhibitors.
Electric vehicles such as Tesla will be part of the convoy, along with other brands, travelling around 400 km on a single charge and will recharge using a network of Green Parking charging stations at the IHG hotels.
The participants will also visit sites of natural beauty, as well as important sustainable energy projects such as the Shams 1 Solar Park, Oman’s Botanic Garden with the country’s first solar park, and experience authentic Omani culture in Sohar, relax on the beaches of Fujairah and drive through the famous golden sand dunes of Madinat Zayed, among other activities.
Car lovers are invited to take part in the 2018 EVRT Middle East and join the epic trip from January 18 to January 26.
Tickets are available for the full nine-day journey or for one of the two five-day stages, where participants can join the Abu Dhabi (January 18) to Muscat (January 22) or Muscat (January 22) to Dubai (January 26) trips, with a chance to drive an electric vehicle on sections of the route.
Ben Pullen, managing director of Global EVRT, said, “The EV market has developed significantly in the last 12 months in the UAE, and it is fantastic to see that there are other forward-thinking governments and industries in this region, such as Oman, which are already working on smart city development, with inevitable plans for EVs in the near future. However, there is still a lot of misunderstanding among consumers about what these cars are capable of.
“By tackling this tough terrain across 1,217 kilometres, we are demonstrating that these cars are not just environment-friendly options for the future, they are real options for car buyers right now, with innovative gadgets and technology to excite and impress.
“Driving an electric vehicle during the road trip is the perfect way to fully appreciate the capabilities of the technology that is shaping the future of transport and to see first-hand how well the cars handle the open road, especially over long distances.”