The Tesla Roadster is a purely electric sports car. Coming to Abu Dhabi?
The oil-rich United Arab Emirates owe most of their wealth to their natural abundance of petroleum. But what they’re starting to do with that wealth is very interesting. Abu Dhabi, for example, is increasingly leveraging its oil wealth in favor of positioning itself as a center for clean energy.
Last week Aabar, a company controlled by the emirate of Abu Dhabi, acquired 40% of Daimler’s interest in Tesla Motors Inc. in order to jointly work on the development of lower carbon emission vehicles.
Khadem Al Qubaisi, the Chairman of Aabar Investments, said that “when we acquired our stake in Daimler in March we identified a number of potential areas for cooperation between our two businesses. One of these was a desire to focus on the development of electric vehicles and projects aiming at the reduction of CO2 emissions. Our joint involvement with Daimler in Tesla is completely in line with this strategy.”
The CEO of Daimler, Dr. Dieter Zetsche, similarly expressed a positive outlook about joint work with Aabar, and explained that “Aabar is supporting us with the development of battery systems and electric power trains, accelerating the worldwide commercialization of electric vehicles.”
Daimler has been testing a fleet of electric smart cars in London and plans to start production later this year.
This initiative joins a string of energy efficiency projects in Abu Dhabi, such as Masdar City (the first carbon emissions free city in the world), a podcar public transportation system and the Middle East’s largest solar plant.
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