The government of Abu Dhabi plans to roll out the world’s first electric vehicle in 2019, the emirate’s state-owned National Oil and Gas Corporation (NNGC) announced Tuesday.
The government hopes the $1 billion car will be the first to offer a fully electric ride in the emirs territory, the Gulf state that is home to the world`s largest oil reserves.
It is not clear when the car would arrive, but the announcement is a milestone for the UAE.
The country has been struggling with a lack of EVs for years.
The government estimates that the country will be home to about half of the world\’s EV-ready vehicles by 2030.
The UAE was the first country to install a charging station for an electric car, but it was quickly overwhelmed by demand.
The plan is to replace those stations with a new network of electric charging stations.
Dubai is the first UAE country to roll-out an electric vehicle, but that plan is still a long way off.
The emirates only has about 10,000 EVs and only a few dozen are on the roads.
The U.S. is planning to roll the technology out nationwide in 2021.
The announcement comes as the UAE faces an economic crisis.
The unemployment rate in the country is about 10 percent, and a study last year found that the unemployment rate is higher in the UAE than anywhere else in the world.
It was also reported that some people are sleeping in the streets due to the shortage of food and other basic goods.