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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: International hospitality brand voco claims to have become the first hotel to offer an electric vehicle charging station in Saudi Arabia’s capital.
voco Riyadh, which is owned and operated by the InterContinental Hotels Group, said in a press release that it has launched the charging station as part of its series of new initiatives to protect and preserve the environment.
The press release noted that the installation of this new charging station is in line with the Saudi government’s direction toward supporting and developing the electric car industry.
“voco aims to be the leading destination for sustainable tourism in the Kingdom, in line with Vision 2030 goals, which have placed sustainability among its most important pillars, as the Kingdom aims to reach zero-carbon neutrality by 2060,” said Mark Allaf, regional general manager of IHG and general manager of voco Riyadh.
He added: “voco’s care for the environment is seen in practices such as serving guests drinks and coffee in biodegradable glasses and cups or providing them with the opportunity to refresh and bathe under energy-efficient ventilated shower heads.”
Earlier in May, the Saudi Ministry of Investment announced an investment of more than SR12.3 billion ($3.27 billion) to build a Lucid Motors electric vehicle factory in Saudi Arabia, with an annual production capacity of 155,000 cars.
With the launch of an EV charging station, voco said it looks to affirm its commitment to being an eco-friendly hotel that implements environmental sustainability practices, uses energy-saving heating, cooling, and lighting systems, and rationalizes water usage.
“The overall aim is to improve human well-being and maintain the continuity of life by protecting natural resources, such as the atmosphere and soil,” it said in the press release..
In August, the Saudi Ministry of Energy, in cooperation with other governmental agencies, completed all legislative and technical aspects to regulate the electric vehicle charging market.
The regulating team which comprises the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs, the Ministry of Transport and Logistics, the Ministry of Commerce, the Saudi Electricity Co., and the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center, will monitor and follow up on the activity to ensure that investors comply with the infrastructure requirements for EV charging stations.
In June, Kalyana Sivagnanam, group CEO of Petromin, during an exclusive interview with Arab News, said that its electric charging station arm Electromin is planning to open new charging stations, in addition to the existing 100 to end Saudis’ reluctance to EVs.
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