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Sweden’s Abu Dhabi truck deal to drive bilateral trade

Einride Dhabi Einride
Einride's Robert Ziegler, second left, and Abdulla Al Marzouqi of Abu Dhabi's Integrated Transport Centre, middle, at the signing of the new deal
  • 1,000 electric heavy duty trucks
  • First step in Falcon Rise Grid
  • Stage set for more Swedish investment

The UAE’s deal for Swedish tech company Einride to help to build the Abu Dhabi portion of the Falcon Rise Grid electrified road freight system could portend more business between the two countries.

Einride will deploy 1,000 electric heavy duty trucks and 100 autonomous vehicles across Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, and install charging infrastructure.

The deal was signed last month with the Integrated Transport Centre and its parent the Abu Dhabi Department of Municipalities and Transport. Sweden’s trade commissioner told AGBI that clean energy would be one driver of future UAE-Sweden trade growth.

The 550 km Falcon Rise Grid is being developed over the course of five years and will stretch across Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah.

It will include a total of 2,000 electric trucks, 200 autonomous trucks and eight charging stations with more than 500 charging points.

The Abu Dhabi deal with Einride is part of the Department of Municipalities and Transport’s goal of decarbonising the entire road freight transport system in the emirate by 30 percent by 2030.

Robert Ziegler, general manager EMEA at Einride, said with the Abu Dhabi partnership, “we’ll be able to further solidify our plan of electrification across the region as it will support key work such as the shaping of incentives and policy”.

Einride, founded in 2016, became the first company in the world in 2019 to deploy an autonomous electric vehicle on a public road. In 2022 it became the first company to receive approval to operate the vehicle on a US public road.

Massoud Biouki, trade commissioner of Sweden to the UAE, said the Einride/Abu Dhabi deal was a good example of the increased investment and partnership between the UAE and Sweden. He said there was a “great level of interest” among Swedish companies looking to set up operations in the UAE and the wider Middle East region.

Swedish exports to the UAE totalled $870 million in 2022, a 27 percent increase on the previous year.

However, a survey last year by Business Sweden, an organisation that represents the country’s companies in the UAE, found there was a significant trade imbalance between Sweden and the UAE, as Swedish imports from the Emirates remain small at about $100 million.

Biouki identified transport, IT and energy among the sectors likely to drive trade growth between the two countries.

“Sweden and the UAE have entered multiple cooperation agreements on matters from SMEs, R&D, environmental technology and innovation. As a result, we see significant potential for Swedish companies across numerous sectors,” he told AGBI.

“Many regional business opportunities are generated in the UAE, and a significant part of trade with Swedish products goes through the country,” he said.

Last month, Sweden’s Saab and the UAE Ministry of Defence signed a $190 million contract for in-service support for Saab’s GlobalEye airborne early warning and control system.

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