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Abu Dhabi bids to become electric vehicle manufacturing hub

Car, Automobile, Vehicle Abu Dhabi Media Centre
NWTN is to produce vehicles with AI technologies and "personalised passenger experiences"
  • Plans for manufacturing, R&D, testing and logistics facility
  • Phase two to introduce new electric vehicle models

Abu Dhabi today announced plans for its first electric vehicle assembly facility as the emirate looks to join Saudi Arabia and Sharjah in building a regional manufacturing hub for sustainable transport options.

KIZAD, part of AD Ports Group’s Economic Cities & Free Zones, has signed a lease agreement with NWTN to establish an assembly plant in Abu Dhabi to serve growing demand.

Founded in 2016, green mobility technology company NWTN has its headquarters in the UAE and aims to produce vehicles that deploy AI technologies and “personalised passenger experiences”.

Under the agreement NWTN plans to initially operate a 25,000m2 manufacturing, research and development, vehicle testing and logistics facility constructed by KIZAD with an annual capacity of up to 10,000 units for the assembly of semi-knocked-down (partly assembled) electric vehicles. 

In phase two, NWTN said it plans to introduce several new electric vehicle models and expand capacity to 50,000 units annually.

The announcement follows recent regulatory updates by the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy (DoE) that seek to accelerate the development of electric vehicle infrastructure as part of Abu Dhabi’s Low Emission Vehicle Strategy. 

The new production facility is also aligned with the UAE Net-Zero by 2050 agenda.

Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, managing director and group CEO, AD Ports Group, said: “Attracting electric vehicle manufacturers to Abu Dhabi will play a significant role in enabling the economic vision of Abu Dhabi and is aligned with the recently announced Abu Dhabi Industrial Strategy.

“We are pleased to welcome NWTN into our ecosystem… and to facilitate their contribution to a cleaner environment for communities and for future generations.”

EV company NWTN is building a manufacturing base in Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa Industrial Zone

Alan Wu, chairman and CEO, NWTN, added: “NWTN’s partnership with AD Ports Group’s KIZAD forms a cornerstone of our broader worldwide growth strategy by enabling us to efficiently service a wider range of consumers both in the Middle East and the wider Northern Africa and European markets.

“The strategic location, with direct access to regional and global markets and proximity to world-class manufacturing infrastructure in KIZAD will allow NWTN to enhance its operations long-term and increase our export potential. We look forward to bringing our mobility technology know-how to one of the smartest cities in the world.”

The Abu Dhabi announcement comes just weeks after Lightyear, the Dutch startup that launched the world’s first long-range production-ready solar electric vehicle earlier this month, picked Sharjah for its first overseas expansion.

The company will be opening testing facilities and a sales office at the Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park, the first such facility outside the Netherlands.

Saudi Arabia is also looking to become a hub for electric vehicle manufacturing in the Middle East with US-based Lucid Group’s plans to build a production facility, with 4,500 jobs to be created. 

With an annual capacity to build 155,000 EVs, agreements in place are estimated to provide financing and incentives to Lucid of up to $3.4 billion over the next 15 years.

Deals were struck in February with the Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Industrial Development Fund, Emaar, The Economic City and Gulf International Bank.