Development company Red Sea Global has installed an off-grid charging network in Saudi Arabia to power electric cars driving through the emerging tourist destination. Gemma Harris reports
The multi-project developer, Red Sea Global, has developed and completed the installation of the largest off-grid electric vehicle (EV) charging network. The network includes more than 150 charging stations integrated into phase one of the Red Sea tourism hub.
The strategically positioned stations have been set to power 80 guest transport vehicles, including the electric Lucid Air and Mercedes-Benz EQS models.
John Pagano, Group CEO of Red Sea Global, says: “Our ambition to combine sustainability and luxury like never before takes a new form as we drive The Red Sea into the future of next-gen, smart mobility, fully powered by sunlight.”He adds: “Our electric transport fleet and charging network not only elevates our environmental credibility with yet another global benchmark in carbon-neutral operations but does so in a way that matches our guests’ expectations for high-end style and comfort.”
The fleet is reserved for exclusive guest use, facilitating transportation between the airport, resorts and the various destinations, including dining locations, luxury marinas, golf courses, and other high-end leisure amenities, during their stays at the Red Sea destination. The vehicles can be booked in advance or requested on demand.
This project is part of Saudi Arabia’s broader goal to achieve net-zero emissions to become the world’s largest destination to run on renewable energy. To power this introductory phase of the electric fleet and charging network, the group has constructed five solar farms complete with 760,000 photovoltaic panels.Andreas Flourou, group head of mobility at Red Sea Global, says: “Red Sea Global heralds a new era of cutting-edge mobility with Saudi Arabia’s premier luxury EV fleet marking a milestone in sustainable transportation.”
Moreover, the establishment and operation of this new fleet will create an estimated 1,500 jobs, including chauffeurs, hub managers, EV charging specialists and skilled technicians.
“Our carbon-neutral operations provide guests with a seamless and stylish travel experience while creating new jobs and empowering young Saudis,” says Flourou.
Looking ahead, the group plans to introduce Saudi Arabia’s first fleet of carbon-neutral electric buses in the destination for staff transportation. The company is also actively exploring other sustainable transportation solutions across various means, including e-bikes, vans, trucks, yachts, ferries, boats, airside vehicles and off-road leisure pursuit vehicles.
The first phase of the Red Sea destination is well underway, with the newly operational Red Sea International airport welcoming its inaugural guests in September 2023. Bookings are now also open for the first two hotels, as well as the recent launch of the first seaplane company in the Kingdom, Fly Red Sea.
Upon completion in 2030, the destination will feature 50 resorts, offering up to 8,000 hotel rooms with more than 1,000 residential properties across 22 islands and six inland sites.