UAE-based smart transportation company, ION has partnered with the Sharjah City Municipality, and Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA) to supply, install and operate public electric vehicle charging stations across the emirate.

The new charging stations will play an important role in accelerating UAE’s ongoing agenda of electrifying its transportation and supporting the current electric vehicle network. With a mandate to promote green mobility solutions in the region, ION said it will build a vast network of charging stations across the emirate in a phased approach.

The partnership will encourage the mainstream adoption of electric vehicles by residents, who can avail free charging services, according to a statement by ION. It added that the agreement will further support the UAE Vision 2021 of achieving a sustainable environment in terms of air quality, increased reliance on clean energy, and green development within Sharjah.

Commenting on the partnership, HE Khaled Al Huraimel, group CEO of Bee’ah and chairman of ION, said: “We are transforming the way people use transportation in the Middle East region, by introducing services and solutions that allow for smart and sustainable mobility.”

“Electric charging stations are an important component in the development of a zero-emissions transportation network in the UAE and wider region and we welcome the chance to work with partners such as SEWA and SCM to contribute to a better quality of life for the residents of Sharjah,” he added.

Samer Choucair, director for CE-Creates and board member for ION, said that with a phased roll-out planned until 2025, the collaborative effort between them and Bee’ah will be aligned with the establishment of regulatory frameworks governing the use of electric vehicles in the region.

ION, in its statement, added that Sharjah is fast emerging as a hub for sustainability and is on track to become the first zero-waste city in the Middle East through a waste-to-energy plant. Sharjah has also ordered 50 Tesla Semi electric trucks to add to its waste management fleet by this year, it added.

Meanwhile, HE Thabit Salim Al-Turaifi, director-general at Sharjah City Municipality, stated that as Sharjah positions itself to be more eco-friendly and technologically advanced, this agreement will be of vast importance to the success of green mobility in the city.

“Partnering with like-minded entities to unlock the potential of electric vehicles in Sharjah is a strong indicator of our commitment to creating a safe and sustainable environment for residents that enables them to adopt better quality lifestyles,” he said.

Elaborating on the new partnership, HE Dr Rashid Alleem, chairman of SEWA, added: “As the UAE lays out the blueprint to improve its environmental performance, we are also following the SEWA Vision 2020, to achieve a highly innovative and sustainable tomorrow.”

He continued: “We are delighted to offer residents the ability and convenience to pursue greener modes of transport and look forward to working with ION and SCM to ensure the right infrastructure is in place to support electric vehicle users.”

Additionally, ION noted in the statement, there has been a rise in the number of electric vehicle motorists in the UAE as governments introduce policies and infrastructure that support sustainable transport.

Several renowned electric vehicle companies have also established their presence in the country including Tesla and NAVYA, the statement added.