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Is green parking the future?

Dubai: A green parking system can save thousands of trees and reduce carbon emissions, according to a group promoting the concept.

Green parking is a concept that involves replacing paper tickets with reusable plastic park chips as well as the parking lot being powered by solar energy and area is lit up by LED lighting system that will help save up to 70 per cent of electricity.

But a major component of the green parking initiative is the installation of Electric Vehicle Chargers (EVC) at the parking lots that will make use of hybrid and electric vehicles practically possible.

"We believe in offering the one-stop parking solutions right from providing the equipment to operating and maintaining the parking spaces in an eco-friendly environment," said Sam Alawiye, CEO of GreenParking, a company that introduced the concept to the region.

He informed that just by replacing the paper tickets with the reusable park chips his company was able to save 3,670 trees in the last few years of operations in the country.

Interestingly, the group has tied up with Dewa to install EVC at 16 locations across Dubai, eight of which are already installed at various DEWA branches.

Green Parking is the only UAE-based company to bid for the installation of 84 more EVCs, that Dewa is planning to set up across the city by the end of this year.

As hybrid and electric cars up their game, the UAE has begun shifting gears in an attempt to make driving these eco-friendly vehicles practically possible.

"Electric or hybrid vehicles are not very popular here because until now there was no proper infrastructure for its use here, but the Dewa's decision to instal EVCs is a step in the right direction, particularly keeping in mind the smart city initiative and Expo 2020. It will help people in making those decisions to purchase these cars," said Adham Gandour, Head of Sales and Projects at Green Parking.

The firm operates 30 private car parks across the UAE under its green parking concept and will soon begin installing EVCs at each of these locations.

"The idea is to promote use of electric cars, so once we install the EV chargers we will be offering the charging service free of cost," added Gandour.

The group is currently in talks with shopping centres in the city to introduce the green parking system, which Gandour believes will help save thousands of trees per year.

"Apart from cutting down on use of paper tickets as well as installing other power saving components, what we are trying to promote is to have at least a couple of EV chargers in each mall, and allotting it prime parking space, just to promote use of eco-friendly vehicles. We are already successfully operating this concept at 10,000 locations in Europe and its working wonderfully well," said Ghandour.

A regular EVC will have the capacity to charge two vehicles at a time, with each having a capacity to fully charge a vehicle in four hours. A fully charged electric vehicle can, on an average, run up to 100 kilometres, but the capacity could vary depending on the model of the vehicle.

Apart from the regular chargers, the group also offers home chargers that are connected to the home grid and can fully charge a vehicle after plugging in overnight.

Another option would be a high-end EVC that can recharge the electric vehicles within 15 to 20 minutes.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Mar 19, 2015
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