Manama, May 6, 2024: The Bahrain Insurance Association (BIA) held its first Electric Vehicle (EV) Forum on May 6, 2024, in Manama. Featuring ten speakers of international acclaim, alongside industry experts and key stakeholders from the region, this forum was dedicated to addressing the unique challenges and opportunities presented by electric vehicles through a daylong session of interactive discussions, keynote speeches and industry interactions.

The primary sessions focused on the following topics
Infrastructure, Charging and Connectivity
Original Equipment Manufacturer Transition and Agency Adoption
EV insurance Innovation
Scene of Accident Safety and Reliable Recovery
Understanding of the EV Technology
The Voice of the Bodyshop
End of Life and End of the Environment
Concluding Session: Highlights, Outcomes and Next Steps

Speaking on the occasion Mr. Jawad Mohammed, CEO, Solidarity Bahrain and Chairman of the Bahrain Insurance Association said, “Electric Vehicles are the future of the global automobiles industry and as much as nearly half of global car sales by 2035 could be made of EVs. This fundamental shift requires the entire ecosystem to make some major changes, and through this forum the BIA attempts to address some of the key issues pertaining to this new trend.” He added, “Bahrain sets a new global benchmark in industry collaboration. We hope those present at this forum will seize the opportunity to develop a successful national EV strategy for Bahrain by exploring the lifecycle of an electric vehicle. We thank you all for joining us at the Forum and for being a part of the vision that will be driving Bahrain into the future.”
The forum opened with an interactive panel session on ‘Infrastructure, Charging and Connectivity’ by Mr. Bruno Soares of ESB International, Bahrain. The speakers discussed fundamental factors instrumental for a successful national EV strategy such as the projected growth of EVs, necessary charging infrastructure and other logistical requirements essential for a successful model as well as sharing experiences on effective solutions for probable roadblocks.

Responding to queries on how Original Equipment Manufacturers’ (OEM’s) are managing the transition from an ICE, to a dual, to an EV car park and other operational transitions, Mr. Michael Goode, Senior General Manager, Aftersales, Ebrahim. K. Kanoo, Bahrain commented, “The future of driving is electric, but customer care, road safety, and repair practices need to keep pace with the technology. Let’s work together as partners to ensure a smooth transition for everyone on the road in The Kingdom of Bahrain.”

While addressing the session ‘Scene of Accident Safety and Reliable Recovery’, Mr. Richard Dunbar, Managing Director, Park Lodge International, UK said, “There were no realistic safety standards when other countries first responders had to manage EV scene of accident and vehicle recovery. Bahrain has the huge advantage of learning from both their expensive mistakes and valuable learnings. What they choose to do with the Forum outcomes will decide the future success of EV mobility strategy in the Kingdom.”

Words of encouragement on initiating this forum were shared by Mr. Theo Theodosiou, Automotive Consultant, UK, who while sharing his diverse knowledge on the subject also remarked, “I am so inspired and motivated by the approach Bahrain is taking with holding this EV Forum. I am therefore honored and delighted to be invited to share my experience and insights with the Bahrain industry stakeholders.”
The EV Forum is aligned with the BIA’s vision of creating better awareness for the various segments of society. It is yet another step at stimulating education and training and improving the technical skills, thereby promoting sound, ethical and professional standards within the industry.