In December 2020, the Maldivian Government, through its updated nationally determined contributions under the Paris Agreement, committed to a 26% reduction in emissions by 2030. Their ambitious vision extends further—to achieve net-zero emissions—with crucial support from the international community.

This review delves into the transformative steps taken by the Maldives to mitigate emissions, particularly in the road transport sector, and the innovative solutions to overcome challenges in adopting electric vehicles (EVs).

A Glimpse into Maldives' Priorities

As per the UNSD Energy Balance database, road transport accounted for 31% of energy usage in 2019, ranking second only to electricity generation, which constituted 34%. This sets the stage for targeted initiatives to curb emissions, focusing on the transport and electricity sectors.

EVs and Renewable Charging

Recognising the potential of electric vehicles in reducing emissions, the Maldivian government is steering towards a transition to EVs, coupled with charging from renewable sources of electricity generation. This twofold approach aims to address emissions in both road transport and electricity generation sectors.

The Challenge: Unlocking EV Potential in a Unique Setting

Of the 131,000 registered vehicles in the Maldives, EVs represent a mere 4%, predominantly in the tricycle and e-bicycle segments. A significant opportunity lies in the two-wheeler motorcycle category (>50cc), constituting 80% of the registered vehicle stock. Despite favourable customs duties for imported electric motorcycles and cars, islands like Male, Hulhumale, and Addu witness limited EV penetration.

City-Specific Challenges in Male

In the capital city of Male, EV adoption faces distinctive challenges. Parking constraints, a crucial bottleneck, lead vehicle owners to park along streets due to limited space within residential high-rise buildings. The lack of EV charging outlets near parking spaces becomes the primary barrier to EV transition, necessitating innovative solutions.

Innovation in EV Charging Infrastructure

Recognising the need for a novel EV charging solution, Male City seeks bespoke charging equipment optimised for parking space constraints. This initiative involves collaboration from urban planning experts, architects, EV charging and solar integration specialists, and other stakeholders to strategically plan EV charging infrastructure's optimal numbers and locations.

Consumer Survey: Shaping the EV Landscape

Partnerships with Ernst & Young, CDE Consulting, the World Bank Group, and the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change and Technology have resulted in a consumer survey. This multiple-choice survey aims to understand vehicle ownership, charging preferences, adoption scenarios, and general awareness about micro-mobility solutions. The insights will inform a comprehensive action plan for supporting the transition and assess the impact on individual island systems' electrical grids.


The Maldives' endeavour to accelerate EV adoption presents a unique model for island nations grappling with sustainability challenges. With a commitment to reducing emissions and a collaborative approach involving various stakeholders, the Maldives strives to weave electric mobility into its urban fabric, navigating challenges and unlocking a sustainable future.