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US commercial EV company to launch UAE factory

HummingbirdEV commercial vehicles in use. The US company said establishing itself in the UAE is a priority HummingbirdEV
HummingbirdEV commercial vehicles in use. The US company said establishing itself in the UAE is a priority
  • HummingbirdEV micro facility
  • UAE is ‘ideal gateway’
  • Commercial EV adoption slow

Californian commercial electric vehicle manufacturer HummingbirdEV has announced plans to establish a micro-factory in the UAE. 

The highly automated manufacturing facility aims to accelerate adoption of commercial electric vehicles (EV) in the Middle East and North Africa, southeast Asia and India.

HummingbirdEV said the factory will produce commercial EVs for an existing e-commerce customer as well as expanding its customer base. 

The micro-factory is expected to begin operations in the first half of this year. 

HummingbirdEV CEO Rakesh Koneru said the UAE was a priority region.

“We see the UAE as an ideal gateway for zero-emission vehicle adoption and trade due to the country’s ambitious sustainability targets, world-class infrastructure systems, strong intellectual property rights, access to institutional capital and strategic geographic location,” he told AGBI.

Commercial EV sales in Mena and southeast Asia are projected to grow to 1.4 million by 2033, accounting for almost 10 percent of total volume, Koneru said. 

The UAE factory will initially focus on catering to the region’s growing demand for mid-mile and last-mile vehicle applications, including refrigerated trucks. 

Commercial EV sales have struggled to take off in the UAE. Analysts at BMI said around 50 units were sold in 2022, mainly vans and buses. They said a number of commercial EV tests are taking place in the UAE, including by the delivery company FedEx.

Heavy-duty electric trucks cannot be charged at public charging stations because of their large battery capacities and the size of the vehicle, so dedicated charging stations are required.

HummingbirdEV UAE has been set up as a registered company and a local operations team has been hired.

In November the company announced the opening of a Series A investment round, with commitments of $6 million. It is seeking additional investors in the round, set to close by the end of the first quarter of this year. 

HummingbirdEV is the latest US tech company to expand to the UAE. EV company Faraday Future, water and wastewater solutions provider Gradiant and air taxi business Archer Aviation are all planning to open headquarters in the emirates.

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