Saudi Arabia has officially authorised vehicles propelled by one or more electric motors, using energy stored in rechargeable batteries.
“Three electric cars have already been issued with certificates of conformity for personal use”, said Al Eqtisadiah newspaper.
The Saudi business daily said that companies would be authorised to import and use electric vehicles within five months from now.
The Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organisation (SASO) had announced that electric vehicles would be imported and granted certificate of conformity, based on technical features which were recently endorsed by Riyadh authorities.
“Certificates of conformity had been issued to three vehicles in co-ordination with Saudi customs,” said SASO spokesperson Tames Al Hammadi.
The Saudi Electricity Company had signed a co-operation agreement with three Japanese firms to launch electric cars in the kingdom on an experimental basis.
The step is part of a national strategy to reduce the country’s reliance on oil and promote environment protection by reducing emission of pollutants.
According to an official report, Saudi consumes 4.7 million barrels of oil equivalents daily - including natural gas, fuel, kerosene, diesel, asphalt and fuel oil.
Feasibility studies revealed the possibility of reducing future consumption of oil equivalents to 2 to 2.5 million barrels daily.
Saudi Arabia has been ranked fourth in the world for highest per capita fuel consumption – after the US, Canada and Kuwait.