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Jan 21 2013

Electric vehicles being considered for public transit fleet in Jordan

By Hana Namrouqa AMMAN -- The Ministry of Environment is studying the introduction of electric cars and buses to the public sector fleet to reduce emissions and cut down on fuel costs, an official said on Sunday.

The vehicles being studied operate fully on electricity and produce no carbon dioxide emissions, Ministry of Environment Spokesperson Isa Shboul told The Jordan Times.

"The ministry and Onyx International Trade and Investment Company signed a memorandum of understanding last week to promote the use of electric cars in the country," Shboul said.

The company is the exclusive partner in Jordan of BYD Auto, a Chinese manufacturer of hybrid and all-electric vehicles.

Shboul noted that the ministry and the company are working on the logistics of introducing electric cars and buses, noting that the all-electric vehicles required an integrated network to support them.

"It is not clear yet when electric cars will be used in the public sector but the ministry welcomes the idea because it protects the environment and reduces air pollution and fuel consumption at the same time," he added.

Meanwhile, Khaldoun Madi, managing director of Onyx International, said the company and the ministry would form a committee soon to work on the logistics of introducing electric vehicles in the Kingdom.

"Electric cars are a new technology and need certain infrastructure, such as charging stations. The committee will study where and how to distribute the charging stations and to whom the revenues of these stations will be transferred," Madi told The Jordan Times.

Madi underscored the importance of the government's support and commitment to creating the needed infrastructure for electric vehicles in Jordan.

He noted that several countries around the world use electric cars, especially as public transport vehicles such as taxis and buses."If introduced here, Jordan would be the first Arab country to use electric cars, which are exempted from customs duty according to local laws," Madi added.

He said that a "quick charge" for an all-electric car takes 30-40 minutes at charging stations, while recharging from household power outlets takes six hours. The vehicle's battery has an eight-year lifespan."The car covers a range of 250 kilometres on a single charge," he added.

© Jordan Times 2013


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