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FENIX Waives the Unlock Fee for its e-Scooters

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FENIX has revealed over 500,000 riders have used its FENIX e-scooters across the company’s first year of operation. As a sign of its growing popularity across the region, Middle East consumers have completed more than one million rides on FENIX electric scooters in the past year. FENIX has been defining the category in the region and is now the market-leading micromobility operator across the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and is one of the top operators in Turkey.

To commemorate its one-year anniversary, FENIX is now eliminating unlock fees on all rides across the region going forward. Unlock fees are arbitrary industry jargon that has no relevance to the service offered to consumers, and excessively tax short distance rides. With its new no unlock fee pricing system, FENIX brings more simplicity to consumers and ‘unlocks’ new short-distance trips that were too expensive previously, facilitating local commerce. Given a large role of micromobility is as a first-last mile feeder to public transit, FENIX riders will now be able to continue their journey after alighting from public transit without having to pay for repeated unlock fees on the first and last mile. 

With the largest electric vehicle fleet in the MENAT region at over 10,000 vehicles, the FENIX ecosystem has made a remarkable contribution to support the region’s environmental goals of net-zero emissions. FENIX e-scooter rides to date have eliminated 75 metric tons of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions that would have been generated by cars and other vehicles. This is equivalent to over 300,000 km driven by a passenger vehicle or enough to power nine homes for an entire year. To further reduce its carbon footprint, FENIX utilizes pioneering sustainable solutions in its operations by implementing the use of cargo e-mopeds to complete battery replacements of its e-scooter fleet. 

To increase choice, convenience, and affordability for consumers, FENIX launched its first-in-the-region private e-scooter service MyFENIX in 10 cities across 4 countries. More than 5,000 households experienced the MyFENIX service over the past 8 months, the first micromobility subscription solution in the region that provides insurance for every ride, free service and maintenance, annual vehicle upgrades, and a smart app for your scooter. The MyFENIX service has been a game-changer for mobility access, offering a price point and level of convenience that is within reach of the majority of the population. The affordable, no-commitment option is in many ways superior to paying thousands of dirhams to buy a scooter upfront that may not be used or that may break due to poor quality.  

In a year of many firsts, FENIX was also the first mover in the region to launch an ultrafast delivery service called F10, offering convenience items in under 10 minutes with no minimum order and no delivery feeSince launching in mid-July, the company has delighted thousands of consumers in Abu Dhabi’s Reem Island with an average delivery time of under 7 minutes. FENIX F10 delivers a supermarket on demand in your kitchen, giving your time back – with ultimate freedom. Through this service FENIX has extended the role of sustainable mobility solutions beyond the movement of people, to include the movement of goods and further reduce carbon emissions and congestion that results from millions of ecommerce deliveries every day. 

To facilitate access to public transit, FENIX partnered with leading transit agencies in the region such as Qatar Rail and Istanbul Metro to provide commuters with a seamless and expedient multimodal transit journey. Having started in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, FENIX was the first micromobility operator in the world to equip its electric vehicles with integrated hand sanitization packs, ensuring riders a COVID-free ride experience. FENIX continues to invest in exclusive technology to ensure better safety for riders. 

Commenting on FENIX’s successful performance this past year, Jaideep Dhanoa, Co-Founder and CEO of FENIX, says, “This has been an incredible year for FENIX. The consumer has spoken and there is exceptional demand for affordable and convenient transportation options in cities all over the region. To meet this demand our team has grown from 10 to 200 people and we’re just getting started. We are committed and inspired by the opportunity in front of us, to transform the way we move in cities and ignite impactful commerce.” 

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EV Lab Brings Rimac Nevera to the Middle East

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EV Lab, a first-of-its-kind omnichannel, multi-brand electric vehicle platform, today announced a new frontier in its partnership with Croatian-based electric hyper manufacturer, Rimac Automobili. Rimac’s latest creation, the Nevera, is now on display for the remainder of Expo 2020 at the Croatia Pavilion, which visitors can preview.

With the Nevera, the boundaries of automotive performance have been pushed further than anyone once thought to be possible. It is powered by a quad-motor drivetrain, where each motor powers one wheel individually. When combined the wheels produce 1,914 horsepower, which is enough to accelerate the car from 0-60 miles per hour in just 1.85 seconds. In addition, the Rimac Nevera has set a new world record for production car acceleration, covering the quarter-mile in just 8.582 seconds.

The Nevera is the production-ready iteration of the Rimac C_Two, first announced in 2018. Designed, engineered, tested and manufactured in-house at Rimac’s global headquarters in Croatia, Nevera proudly carries its Croatian heritage in its name and design features. A nevera is a mighty Croatian storm, known for its speed, ferocity and energy – a fitting name therefore for both the Nevera’s character and ability. Able to transform in a split second from a supple grand tourer to an all-out force of nature, Nevera is charged by lightning much like its namesake.

Kevin Chalhoub, Founder & CEO at EV Lab

Kevin Chalhoub, Founder & CEO at EV Lab, said, “We’re delighted to be partnering with Rimac to debut their new flagship vehicle in the Middle East as the region’s first immersive platform that encourages people to embrace future mobility solutions that are sustainable and clean. Our goal is to showcase that electric vehicles are not only sustainable but also at the forefront of technology as Rimac is doing just that with the first electric hypercar company in the world. Paying homage to Expo 2020 key themes of Mobility, Sustainability, and Opportunity, the Rimac Nevera will be on display at Expo 2020 until 31 March 2022, and I encourage everyone who has an interest in the future of mobility to come down and see this marvel of engineering. The engineers at Rimac have created something that we have never seen before, breaking records and realigning our perceptions of what electric vehicles are capable of, whilst rising to the challenge of pushing the limits of technology as we know it.”

After starting Rimac Automobili in 2011 with just a handful of people, CEO Mate Rimac has grown the company from a specialist component manufacturer to a series production hypercar and technology powerhouse, which employs over 1300 dedicated employees.  Recently, Rimac and Bugatti joined forces under the new company – Bugatti Rimac – combining Bugatti’s heritage of design and engineering with Rimac’s ground-breaking technology and agile operations. This joint company will serve to take the fledgling electric hypercar industry to new and exciting heights. Bugatti Rimac, focused on designing, engineering, and producing the ultimate hypercars, and Rimac Technology, the high-performance EV technology supplier to global automotive manufacturers, are both a part of the umbrella company, Rimac Group, with Mate Rimac as CEO

To date, EV Lab has partnered with a number of entities to drive transformational campaigns that put the spotlight on the value-add that electric vehicles bring to promoting a culture of sustainability. Supporting the vision of the UAE government to reach Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050 EV Lab is continuing to provide customers at all entry points with a platform to discover a wide variety of options and benefits of electric mobility.

Mate Rimac, Founder and CEO of Rimac Automobili, said, “It’s our honor to bring the Rimac Nevera to Expo 2020 and showcase it in front of a new audience in the Middle East – which is one of the key markets for us. The story of Rimac Automobili is a story of beating all odds in spite of enormous challenges with an incredibly ambitious team set on forging the future of mobility. We are honored to partner with EV Lab, a company that shares our values of continuous innovation, and pushing the boundaries of what is possible.”

As Rimac’s official partner in the Middle East, EV Lab will be the conduit to host prospective clients ahead of the exclusive customer driving experience event at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi in early 2022.

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GM Opens its Factory ZERO Focusing on EVs

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General Motors marked a major milestone in its commitment to an all-electric future, as the President of the United States – Joe Biden, Mary Barra Chair and CEO at GM, Gerald Johnson, GM’s Executive Vice President of Global Manufacturing and Sustainability, wider GM leadership, plant employees and other officials, celebrated the grand opening of the Factory ZERO EV assembly plant. Production is now set to begin at the former Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant, less than two years after GM announced the massive $2.2 billion investment to fully renovate the facility to build a variety of all-electric trucks and SUVs.

“GM’s manufacturing expertise is key to achieving our all-electric future,” said GM Chair and CEO Mary Barra. “This is a monumental day for the entire GM team. We retooled Factory ZERO with the best, most advanced technology in the world to build the highest quality electric vehicles for our customers. Factory ZERO will be home to the 2022 GMC HUMMER EV Pickup, 2024 GMC HUMMER EV SUV, Cadillac LYRIQ and the Cruise Origin, among other yet to be announced EVs.  Of the vehicles to be produced at the plant, the Chevrolet Bolt EUV, HUMMER EV SUV and Cadillac LYRIQ EV will soon be making their appearance to the Middle Eastern region.

The new production process will feed one of two distinct strategic business pillars of GM Middle East – supplying the many EVs that will accelerate the regional future of mobility agenda across electrification, autonomy and connectivity, through a green circular economy. “Regionally, the launch of Factory Zero strengthens our standing as a leader in the future of mobility. Majority of the nations in the Middle East are actively working to achieve their net zero plan, most of which tackle transport solutions. This is promising when we look at the future adoption of our EV and AV portfolio, which are now a step closer to being on Middle Eastern roads, following the large-scale production to take place at Factory Zero. In this vein, we can continue to extend efforts to bring national sustainability visions to life”, shared Luay Al Shurafa, President and Managing Director at General Motors Africa & Middle East.

The debut of the Ultium Platform at Factory ZERO
All Factory ZERO EVs will be built on GM’s Ultium Platform, the heart of the company’s EV product strategy. The Ultium Platform encompasses a common vehicle architecture and propulsion components like battery cells, modules, packs, drive units, EV motors and integrated power electronics, making it fundamental at plants where EVs are produced.

Through the Ultium Platform, GM will realize a strategic value chain shift across its network of vehicle assembly plants as the company is able to commonize and streamline machinery, tooling and assembly processes. This flexibility enables lower capital investments and greater efficiencies as additional assembly plant transformations occur. The platform is set to also feature across the EVs scheduled for arrival into the Middle East, as well as the autonomous GM backed Cruise, launching in partnership with Dubai’s Road Transportation Authority, in the form of a fleet of Cruise Origin self-driving vehicles, launching in Dubai from 2023, with plans to ramp up to 4000 vehicles by 2030.

Factory ZERO – a showcase of GM’s competitive advantage
GM retooled Factory ZERO for EV production for two-thirds of the capital required to build a greenfield plant, making the facility a model for future GM facility renovations.  As the company continues its transition for an all-electric future, GM will avoid up to $15 billion in capital costs by 2030 through the renovation of existing manufacturing facilities versus ground-up construction. The figure grows from $20 billion to $30 billion at 100 percent transition of GM’s manufacturing facilities to support EV production.  That capital can be redeployed more strategically for additional customer-facing products, services, and technologies.

Along with the capital advantages, GM’s commitment to renovating its existing network of manufacturing facilities during the EV transition also saves time. An accelerated launch and production start allow the company to get new, innovative EVs to customers sooner.  Pre-production of the 2022 HUMMER EV pickups began at Factory ZERO in September and GMC HUMMER is on track to deliver the first vehicles to customers in the Middle East in 2022.

Using virtual tools and working in parallel with production engineering teams, GM cut the manufacturing launch time in half – from two years to less than one – creating a competitive advantage.  By comparison, greenfield assembly plant planning and construction could take up to four years, from site selection to vehicle production.

GM estimates that 80 percent of the assembly process for an EV is the same as that for conventional vehicles. This is another driver of speed for GM. The company has refined and perfected its own standardized manufacturing processes over many decades, and will launch its expanding portfolio of EVs faster, with superior quality and a lower cost.

Factory ZERO’s greatest asset is its people
GM’s Factory ZERO team is backed by more than 90,000 industrial problem solvers on GM’s global manufacturing team, who have 1.4 million years of collective experience. They are managing an average of 11 major launches every year, both internal combustion engine and EV. As a result, GM can produce an EV in the same number of working hours it takes to build an ICE vehicle.

“Our people are GM’s true competitive advantage — an advantage you simply can’t buy or quickly build,” said Gerald Johnson, GM’s executive vice president of Global Manufacturing and Sustainability.  “At Factory ZERO, we are building on that experience with the training that will deliver EV and AV launch success with safety, quality and speed while continuing to drive down cost per unit.”

Factory ZERO – a commitment to sustainability
As an EV assembly plant, Factory ZERO plays a direct role in GM’s commitment to eliminate tailpipe emissions from new light-duty vehicles by 2035 and become carbon neutral in its global products and operations by 2040. The company has already committed to invest $35 billion in electric and autonomous vehicles and plans to introduce more than 30 EV models globally by 2025.   Factory ZERO serves as a real-world proof point for GM’s commitment to running its business in a sustainable manner.

Factory ZERO highlights include:

  • GM reused or recycled almost every material that came out of the facility during conversion, including crushed concrete from the old plant floor, which was repurposed for temporary roads around the facility.
  • Storm water will be recycled to reduce discharge costs and offset the cost of potable water.
  • Treated storm water will be used in cooling towers and the plant’s fire suppression system.
  • The site features a 30-kilowatt solar carport and 516-kW ground-mount photovoltaic solar array from DTE Energy.
  • Factory ZERO’s site has a 16.5-acre wildlife habitat that is home to monarchs, foxes and turkeys.

Through Factory ZERO, GM is showcasing its manufacturing leadership capability and readiness for what will be a fundamental shift in mobility as the company transitions to an all-electric future.

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Nissan Shows Off All-Electric Ariya at Expo 2020

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Nissan is moving towards sustainable mobility with the first regional showcase of its stunning all-electric Ariya crossover car that is targeted towards the mass market. The Japanese company unveiled its all-new electric vehicle on 14th October, 2021, at the Let’s Move event at Dubai Exhibition Centre, Expo 2020 Dubai. “As Expo 2020’s Official Automotive Partner, Nissan is strongly committed to championing more sustainable transportation,” the company said.

Thierry Sabbagh, Managing Director of Nissan Middle East, said, “It’s a really exciting moment for us as a brand because our partnership with Expo started three years ago and we have been a part of the entire development, whether it is of the site or also of all the plans that have been set. And today, the partnership between Expo and Nissan is very natural. Because today, when we look at the pillars of Expo, whether on Sustainability, on Mobility, and on Opportunity, I can tell you that Nissan’s strategy is very much based on that.”

Joni Paiva, Divisional Vice President of Nissan Motors, said, “When you align Nissan’s purpose to drive innovation to enrich people’s lives and you look at Expo 2020’s purpose [and theme], ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, these two visions align extremely well, especially when you use the subthemes of Expo 2020 of Sustainability, Opportunity, and Mobility.”

Sabbagh said that unlike other electric vehicles currently available on the market, the new Ariya is made to appeal to people of all backgrounds, rather than target a niche audience only. He added, “Nissan as a brand has always brought products to the market that have very high demand and have always really been very much the best when it comes to the technology, to the innovation. And definitely, this is part of our passion. When we bring products to the market, we want to ensure that people from different categories, and from different aspirations, are able to drive our product. And definitely, I don’t see a difference with the Nissan Ariya, once it is fully launched in the markets. I will definitely be convinced that this will be available and offered to customers with different needs and also different profile customers.”

“The Ariya will drive the beginning of the Nissan NEXT transformation journey, a forward-looking plan building on the brand’s reputation for innovation, craftsmanship, customer focus, and quality,” the company said.

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