By Sam Bridge
From electric bikes to buses, trucks and charging stations, ION says to transform transport networks across the region
ION, the UAE-based sustainable transport company, has announced that it has now launched operations in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah.
The company, which was announced in 2018 as a joint venture between Bee’ah and Crescent Enterprises, was officially inaugurated during a ceremony attended by Badr Jafar, CEO of Crescent Enterprises, and Khaled Al Huraimel, Group CEO of Bee’ah.
In 2018, ION launched a pilot programme in Dubai with the ride-hailing service, Careem, providing a fleet of Tesla Model S electric vehicles.
ION said residents are now able to avail of ride-hailing services featuring Tesla Model S vehicles, while Model 3 vehicles will be introduced soon, making ION the first company in the UAE to offer services featuring the Model 3.
Its new operations are set to cater to the growing demand for sustainable transport options across the country, including providing next-generation mobility solutions within Masdar City, supported by a fleet of Chevrolet Bolt electric cars, with plans to add on-demand services, a statement said.
The company added that it has set up an office within the Masdar Free Zone to help expand green-mobility innovations across Abu Dhabi.
With a phased roll out planned until 2025, the collaborative effort between the two companies will align with the establishment of regulatory frameworks governing the use of electric vehicles in the target markets.
From electric bikes to buses, trucks, and charging stations, ION said it aims to transform multi-modal, inter-urban, transport networks across the region.
Jafar said: "Our partnership with Bee’ah to establish ION stems from our shared vision of environmental sustainability, and aims to support the development of a zero-emission transport system for the UAE and the wider MENA region.
"We have seen significant shifts in energy policies in recent years in response to economic, social and environmental challenges, and the private sector must play its role in this sustainability drive. Setting up offices across the nation marks a milestone in our mission to roll out a fully green fleet management enterprise for the UAE.
"We aim to expand our operations and redefine transport solutions across the wider region."
Al Huraimel added: "ION is an extension of a process we started internally, by using a fleet of advanced, eco-friendly vehicles.
This fleet of 1,200 vehicles is also managed by a digitally enhanced system, which uses features such as automated route optimisation and RFID tagged bins to reduce emissions, optimise fuel consumption and the use of resources such as vehicles and people.
"We have also placed the Middle East’s first and largest order for Tesla’s revolutionary semi-trucks. Through ION, we are making eco-friendly modes of transportation more accessible for residents, improving air quality levels through zero emissions and creating better standards of living for people."For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.