The Propensity to Adopt Electric Vehicles in the United Arab Emirates: An Analysis of Economic and Geographic Factors

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In 2022, the increased utilization of electric vehicles (EVs) curtailed global carbon dioxide emissions by 13 gigatons. While EV ownership has been on the rise in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), accounting for approximately 1.3% of passenger car vehicles in 2022, it has not yet attained a level of economic feasibility compared to petroleum vehicles. The authors examined consumers’ opinions in the UAE toward adopting EVs for light-duty transport from the economic and geographic perspectives. The main research question was the following: to what extent do economic and geographic factors affect consumers’ opinions toward adopting EVs in the UAE? The objectives were to determine if a relationship exists between economic factors, such as saving money on petroleum, the cost of car maintenance, the cost of purchase, and income level, and geographic factors, including 14 cities across the seven Emirates that affect consumers’ opinions toward adopting EVs. We designed a survey that was distributed to a sample of 5459 respondents to examine this relationship. Descriptive and inferential statistics as well as PyData analytical techniques complemented by the application of data visualization tools such as Seaborn, Plotly, and Matplotlib were employed to examine the dataset. The findings demonstrated that respondents across all income levels have a positive outlook regarding the appeal of EVs for saving money on petroleum, while their interest in saving money on car maintenance and the initial cost of purchase became more pronounced in the higher income levels. Moreover, there were variations in preferences in highly populated Emirates (e.g., Dubai and Abu Dhabi) compared to Emirates with lower populations (e.g., Ras Al Khaimah and Umm al Quwain), confirming that much more emphasis is required to promote EVs in rural areas. When comparing multiple income groups to determine the impact of different factors, the ANOVA confirmed the prevailing patterns evident in the associations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number770
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024


  • United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • adoption
  • economy
  • electric vehicles (EVs)
  • geography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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