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HomeTechInvestor Alert! USD 9 Billion Opportunity in MENA’s EV Market

Investor Alert! USD 9 Billion Opportunity in MENA’s EV Market

According to analysts, EV adoption will gain major momentum in the Middle East thanks to growing tech-savvy urban hubs in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, in addition to a significant drop in the cost of EVs over the past decade.

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According to analysts, EV adoption will gain major momentum in the Middle East thanks to growing tech-savvy urban hubs in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, in addition to a significant drop in the cost of EVs over the past decade.

The UAE has launched several initiatives to encourage the adoption of EVs among its residents. Strategies like the Dubai Green Mobility Strategy 2030 aim to have around 42,000 electric cars on Dubai’s streets by the end of this decade. Currently, the UAE is ranked 7th globally and is the top country in the MENA region on the Global Electric Mobility Readiness Index (Gemrix), demonstrating the nation’s dedication to sustainable transportation and its goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

Like the UAE, the Saudi government has also taken significant steps to drive EV adoption, including funding infrastructure. Since 2021, the Saudi Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Development Initiative (SEVCIDI) has been working towards a goal of installing 50,000 domestic charging stations by 2025.

With EV sales looking set to continue ramping up, here are four stocks to watch:

VivoPower International PLC, a sustainable energy solutions (SES) company, is on a mission to make the cost of owning an EV much more affordable without compromising on any of the features.

The company’s flagship subsidiary, Tembo e-LV, supplies conversion kits containing all the parts needed to convert a vehicle from an internal combustion engine to electric. These parts include the batteries, an e-motor, a reduction box, a charger, software, and many other components that make the converted vehicle work safely and seamlessly.

In essence, the Tembo electric utility vehicle (EUV) conversion kits claims to transform new and second-hand diesel-powered 4×4 LandCruiser and Hilux vehicles into ruggedized EUVs that can operate in the harshest of terrains, like in mining and other industrial applications.

VivoPower claims that Tembo’s conversion kits have seen significant interest from not only the Middle East but also the African market, as illustrated by its recent securing of a commitment of 5000+ kits and an order pipeline of 10,000+ kits. Those included an MOU in Jordan for 1,000 kits, opening a path to the Middle East, which is the largest Landcruiser market, and a definitive agreement in Kenya for 4,000 kits, providing entry into second-hand vehicle segments, which expands the company’s addressable market.

To put the opportunity in context, the Middle East and Africa EV markets were worth about USD 3.33 billion in 2024 and are expected to reach USD 9.42 billion by 2029, representing a CAGR of 23.20%, according to research from Mordor Intelligence.

VVPR may be well positioned to capitalize on this growth and has what could possibly be one of the best backers to help advance in the region. In May 2024, Vivo claims it received a direct investment of USD 10 million into Tembo at a pre-money valuation of USD 120 million, from a private investment office of a member of the ruling Al Maktoum family of Dubai.

Currently, VVPR claims to have a market cap of about USD 12.5 million, which implies that its valuation has significant upside potential even without taking into account its other subsidiaries, which it is divesting from.

In early June, VivoPower announced that it entered into a definitive asset sale agreement for the sale of one of its non-core business units, Kenshaw Electrical, to ARA Group Limited, a leading diversified industrial services group based in Australia, for a total of AUD 5 million. This follows another announcement that it would spin off the majority of its Caret business unit’s portfolio, representing up to ten solar projects totaling 586 MW-DC at varying stages of development.

This is in line with VivoPower’s previously announced strategy to focus on reinvesting in its strong growth businesses, including Tembo.

Tembo will be going public via a merger with Nasdaq-listed SPAC Cactus Acquisition Corp (CCTS). CCTS will issue 83.8 million shares in exchange for Tembo shares at USD 10 per CCTS share, which corresponds to a pre-money indicative equity valuation of Tembo of USD 838 million.

VivoPower shareholders will get 5 Tembo shares worth USD 10 each for every share held, in addition to a special dividend at USD 1 per share, translating to another USD 5 per VivoPower share held.

VinFast Auto Ltd marked a significant milestone in its global expansion strategy by entering into a dealer sales agreement with Bahwan Automobiles Trading LLC (BAT) for the distribution of electric vehicles (EVs) in Oman.

The deal follows an Initial Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation signed at the COP 28 conference in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2023. It makes BAT the official dealer of VinFast in Oman. Under the agreement, BAT is to establish 13 VinFast stores and service locations over the next three years.

The first store is expected to launch in mid-2024, with vehicle sales commencing shortly after. VinFast will also collaborate with BAT to introduce four e-SUV models in the Omani market: VF 6, VF 7, VF 8, and VF 9.

Commenting on the Omani market, VinFast CEO Ta Xuan Hien says that Oman presents a promising market for electric vehicles.

“Consumers in the nation demonstrate a growing interest in sustainable and environmentally friendly transportation solutions. We are confident that this dealer sales agreement with BAT, a leading and highly reputable dealer in Oman, will empower VinFast to swiftly establish a presence in the market and provide customers in the country with the most diverse and high-quality selection of electric vehicles available,” says Hien.

NWTN  is a Dubai-based pioneering green energy company dedicated to providing passenger-focused, premium electric vehicle products and green energy solutions to customers worldwide. The company has a full vehicle assembly facility in Abu Dhabi.

In January this year, NWTN’s strategic partner, W Motors, a manufacturer of high-performance luxury cars in the Middle East, signed a partnership agreement with Manaseer Group.

Through this agreement, Manaseer Group Vice Chairman Eng Abdel Rhman Obaid says they will be the exclusive distributor for W Motors and NWTN vehicles in Jordan and the Middle East and Africa region. It will use its facilities as a factory for assembly and thereafter manufacturing operations for these new car brands, which is made possible by Manaseer’s strong presence and expertise of the Jordan market, and its commitment to providing environment-friendly solutions that combine innovation and luxury.

The agreement was reached following Manaseer Group’s recent participation in the Higher and Executive Committees for Integrated Industrial Partnership meeting that took place in Bahrain.

Lucid Group, Inc officially opened the first-ever car manufacturing facility in Saudi Arabia last year, making its second Advanced Manufacturing Plant (AMP-2) and first international plant. The facility will produce Lucid’s electric vehicles for Saudi Arabia and export them to other markets.

The AMP-2 facility received significant support from the Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia (MISA), the Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF), and the Economic City at King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) and is expected to play a pivotal role in accelerating Saudi Arabia’s strategic goal to diversify its economy.

The AMP-2 facility has begun semi knocked-down (SKD) assembly and is expected to have an annual capacity of 5,000 cars. The initial operation re-assembles Lucid Air vehicle ‘kits’ that are pre-manufactured at the company’s U.S. AMP-1 Manufacturing Facility in Casa Grande, Arizona.

Lucid aims to transition AMP-2 to complete build unit (CBU) production after the middle of the decade, with an additional annual capacity of 150,000 cars.

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