Doha, Qatar: The percentage of electrified public buses in Qatar reached 73% in first quarter (Q1) of 2024 and the plan is on track to reach 100% electric public bus fleet by 2030, said Transport Minister.

“The initiative aims at placing Qatar among top countries in terms of achieving zero emission transition in transportation in step with Qatar National Environment and Climate Change Strategy,” said Minister of Transport H E Jassim Saif Ahmed Al Sulaiti.

He was addressing the opening session of Autonomous e-Mobility Forum yesterday. Running at the Qatar National Convention Center (QNCC) for two days, the forum is hosted by the Ministry of Transport and organised by Just Us & Otto Marketing Services.

The opening ceremony was attended by several ministers, high-profile state officials, and chairpersons of entities working in the transportation industry.

Al Sulaiti also announced that the Ministry of Transport will soon set up a centre specialised in inspecting and testing how far EVs’ specifications conform and comply with those approved in Qatar, as well as releasing their certifications. This, he said, reinforces Qatar’s aspirations for becoming a major hub for EVs in the MENA region.

Speaking to media persons on the sidelines of the conference, Minister of Transport said the centre will approve the Qatar EV specifications and necessary requirements to implement in the country. “We want to make electric vehicles to follow the regulation to ensure safety and security,” said Al Sulaiti.

He said Qatar is taking a complete step towards programmed electrification transformation. “Now there are from 220 to 300 charging stations for small vehicles operating across the country.”

In his opening speech, Al Sulaiti stressed that Qatar, under the wise leadership of Amir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, will continue developing coherent, sustainable, integrated, and ecofriendly transportation system in a fashion that enhances the country’s leading position on the world map of green and smart transportation.

He said that this is in addition to sharing its expertise in the field with the rest of the world through its real-life experiences of hosting major continental and international events, where transportation is a key success factor.

This vital and ecofriendly sector, he said, had successfully provided a safe and seamless mobility experience during the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023, where nearly 3.4 million fans were transported by buses and about 6.5 million fans used the Doha Metro and Lusail Tram. During the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, he added, around 18.2 million people were transported by the Doha Metro and Lusail Tram, and over 7 million passengers were transported by public buses.

Supporting innovation and keeping up with global advancements in transportation, Al Sulaiti said that in the context of the ongoing effort to accomplish the 3rd Qatar National Development Strategy’s goals, which focus on harnessing advanced technology, and achieving sustainable development and economic diversification, toward achieving the vision of the wise leadership and the pillars of the QNV 2030, the Ministry continues its efforts related to the Autonomous Vehicle Strategy by facilitating autonomous vehicles’ operations, managing their fleet, and ensuring operator and vehicle safety by establishing an AV fleet operations centre and unlocking economic opportunities in the area.

Wrapping up his remarks, Al Sulaiti affirmed making every effort to enhance the transportation system, promote investment in the field, support other industries, and leave a legacy for generations to come.

The Minister then inaugurated and toured the accompanying exhibition with several ministers and officials. They were briefed on some of the latest technology trends and innovations in driverless and e-mobility.

The Minister of Transport also accompanied other ministers on a real-life experience aboard an autonomous e-bus, equipped with sensors, high-definition cameras, laser sensors, and ultrasonic radar to ensure highest safety and security.

Day 1 of the forum saw several panel discussions on numerous topics such as designing smart cities, empowering the acceleration of innovation in autonomous mobility, and balancing mobility, energy, and environment, in addition to introducing first ecofriendly trucks in Qatar.

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