Tesla is bringing its electric cars to the heart of the oil-producing world.
The automaker announced Monday that its first official venture in the Middle East will be in the United Arab Emirates.
The first cars, the Model S and Model X, will hit the road this summer.
“It seems like the right time to make a significant debut in this region, starting with Dubai.” tesla ( CEO Elon Musk said at the World Government Summit in Dubai. )
Tesla owners will have access to two existing supercharging stations in the UAE, and Telsa plans to open five more by the end of the year.
Despite having huge oil and gas reserves, the UAE has ambitious plans to go green. Last month it said it will invest $163 billion to boost the use of alternative energy over the next three decades.
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It’s the latest in a series of expansion announcements for Tesla. Last week, Musk hinted that Tesla could soon come to India.
Musk has also plans mocked build “heavy trucking and high-density passenger urban transportation,” as well as develop a ride-hailing network, which could be similar to Uber.
Speaking in Dubai, the businessman spoke about the future of robotics.
“We will see autonomy and artificial intelligence advance enormously,” Musk said. “Probably 10 years from now, it will be very unusual for cars to be built that are not fully autonomous.”
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But he also warned about the “disruptive” nature of autonomous vehicles.
“That disruption I’m talking about will happen over about 20 years. Still, 20 years is a short period for 12% to 15% of the workforce to be unemployed.”
Musk said governments need to pay close attention to artificial intelligence, create sustainable transportation and be careful about mass unemployment.
“This will be a huge social challenge. Ultimately, we have to think about universal basic income. I don’t think we have a choice,” he said. “There will be fewer and fewer jobs that a robot can’t do better.”
— Seth Fiegerman contributed reporting.
CNNMoney (Dubai) First published February 13, 2017: 11:06 am ET