Fares Almazrooei is the Founder of Volt.ae, a startup dedicated to accelerating clean technology in the Middle East. He is a Dubai native who works closely with private and public organizations to support the United Arab Emirates’ vision for a sustainable future. Fares was the principal advisor to Tesla on their entry into the UAE market, and continues to play a leadership role in growing the Electric Vehicle community. He works closely with the Prime Minister’s Office of the UAE government, serving as a trusted liaison across industry stakeholders. Fares serves on multiple government committees, including the UAE Ministry of Energy EV Incentive Committee, and the Dubai Police Future Innovation Committee. Fares is also the Founder and Managing Director of Forwardit.com, a freight forwarding company serving clients in America and the Middle East. He served for six years as a Dubai Police officer, and holds a BA in Business Administration from Eastern Washington University in the United States.
We had the opportunity to ask Fares a few questions on the electric and smarter mobility industry before Smarter Mobility World 2020. See what he had to say:
SMW: How do you think the electric and smarter mobility industry in your region will perform in the next 1 – 5 years?
FM: Am pretty comfortable to say currently we have more then 2000 EV’s on UAE roads and in the next 5 years we will have added another 20,000 more.
SMW: What are the top burning electric and smarter mobility challenges faced by manufacturers and consumers?
FM: Infrastructure is not catching up at all. Many factors must put in place you have governments or state owned power providers who control the jurisdiction and add other government agencies to get approval for EV charge installations. Many service providers like a mall or a hotel are misled by assuming an AC charger could get them fined or waste of investment from their end. Fact is they already have been proven wrong many hotel and mall owners have the data that shows by installing EV chargers made sure electric cars use the facility more often.
For manufacturing I am pretty sure they are working on solutions if I’d warn by saying if you don’t act faster by getting your products be friendly with 2020 tech and smartphones you could lose market share by 2025 and it gets ugly.
SMW: What are the key trends in your region that drive the electric and smarter mobility industry?
FM: In today’s Trent is all about what set me to be more convenient. Filling up the ICE vehicle seems like the past that’s said the more convenient and easy to use the EV the more I get connected with it into my daily tasks.
SMW: What are the key opportunities and challenges?
- Reduce carbon footprint
- Getting the data and for the future regulatory
- Understanding the effectiveness of the EV
- Help diversify from oil
- Get skin in the game from earliest possible
- Get the experience needed ahead of the region
- Government not favorable policies
- Regulators fear of change
- Issuing wrongs policies
- Fighting to be profitable on old models
- Looking into the wrong direction for make sense of market slowdown
- Simple example (who many chests infections related to pollution of vehicles and transportation)
- 1000 dirham challenge personally if you get me the answer in 24 hours.:)
SMW: How do you foresee electric and smarter mobility in the future?
FM: I see software will take over sooner or later. It’s mind blowing at the rate it’s going today vehicles without great UI Mark my lips will be obsolete.
SMW: The top 3 themes you will share/have shared at the seminar/conference?
- Government not to compete in Private sectors (I have examples)
- Environmental Ministry must intervene with hard policies
- Check and balances of promises that government announced in the past. Fact check the people who went public and question the results.
SMW: What are the burning issues that keep you awake at night?
- Waste management
- Human laziness
- Most important health for our children’s
SMW: Forecasts and predictions for the year ahead?
FM: I don’t see the government will be attending if the change didn’t happen dramatically. Example if you met the VAT office and talked about waiving off the tax on EV or anything that could improve the environment going green. The reply I got “money is green” with this mindset I am worried and and made me more determined to change. Am more optimistic for 2020 with the expo around the corner and the reason is I believe they want to show the world the capabilities of Change’s
If that’s true be transparent and admit the intention is good from now on forward. If that’s false I am still alive and will keep pounding about it. 🙂 WE WILL NEVER FORGET V for Vendetta.
SMW: What is one piece of advice you’d give to an electric and/or smarter mobility company?
FM: Don’t follow standards break them make them the new standards innovate. It’s 2020 who said a 70 year old will take Twitter to another level (Trump) manufacturers always look at the costs of a vehicle not value of it that brings to markets they should look again. It’s a fight that biggan few years back. Believe me on the rate it’s going it will be an apple or android platform of vehicles made by Mercedes or Toyota. This is where it needs to be an integrated vehicle with home appliances and office tasks and groceries.
SMW: What advice would you give to a new fleet manager starting in the electric and smarter mobility industry?
FM: Don’t follow old traditional policies, make sure you extend the life span of the vehicle. Make sure you have the right tools to calculate the KM/$ in the right way and you should see for yourself the profitable model right away.
On other hand working with 3rd parties for the after sales and insurance this plays big in moldering your business and relying on real fact numbers.
Examples: fleet operator takes an EV for the 10,000km service and pays 500AED every time per car. Manufacturers do not require it to be per 10,000 but as internal old policies it requires the fleet operator to have it in the books. This is just wasteful and miscalculated all the KM/$ value in EV’s
SMW: What do you see as the most significant threat to the electric and smarter mobility industry and why?
- Government policies and oil companies lobbyist
- Let’s talk about the Dino park in Abudhabi
- They have managed to put a lot of restrictions on owners to have electric car chargers by getting approval from QCC and ADDC.
- They have when above the ESMA standards by asking for testing of IP55 certificate for the chargers if it’s outdoors
- You will need Noah flood to damage it if that’s true
- They have a demanding policy to only host data in UAE for privacy protection (am not buying it again) why would manufacture pay millions for data plans M2M solutions global plans and has to do it again with local ISP and make sure to pay it in UAE. This will only end up costing users more to have those services enabled.
- DEWA & RTA
- Ya the brothers that I truly respect looking up for those entities they try hard but they still look for money to make out if it. DEWA is entering the smart home Business and RTA is not giving endurance waivers for the zero Emissions vehicles by they way I don’t blame them as they are they only government agencies who give something back to EV owners well done. I wish it was more and hope it’s more in future and set example to the other Emirates.
SMW: What current innovations are you aware of in the electric and smarter mobility industry?
FM: Self driving Robo taxi can’t really determine yet as Dubai is favorable city for testing thanks to the RTA for zoning an area and putting in place the regulations for manufacture to start trails.
Other then that we wait for the toll out of 5G (RTA) has fibres optic layered for smart roads (I saw it with my own eyes)
This should accelerate the smart city smart vehicles and need no brainers about it.
SMW: What trends in the electric and smarter mobility industry e.g. hydrogen fuel cell technology and/or development do you think will impact the industry the most?
FM: For large application I see hydrogen technologies fits best but again the amount of hydrogen and transporting it is still challenging
Sometimes I ask myself if it is really safe and cost effective why not install it in Maga buildings and malls, hotels as power Generators. This should not only save money also help water our gardens. I
For the next 2 years it’s going to be interesting and see what are the government motives and looking forward for the event