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Electric cars expected on Jordan’s streets in two years — importer

By Omar Obeidat - Aug 27,2015 - Last updated at Aug 27,2015

A Tesla electric vehicle. The US company has presented a similar car to Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour, as Jordan seeks to promote the adoption of environment-friendly vehicles (Photo courtesy of Tesla Motors)

AMMAN — Electric cars may hit the streets of Jordan in a couple of years, according to the president of the Jordan Free Zone Investors Association (JFZIA), Nabil Rumman. 

In a phone interview with The Jordan Times on Thursday, Rumman said electric vehicles are dubbed “the cars of the future” across the world, urging authorities to prepare the infrastructure for such autos by building charging stations across the Kingdom. 

“We expect this type of car to enter the domestic market in the coming two to three years, so we have to be ready with the infrastructure,” said the head of the JFZIA, a syndicate that represents hundreds of Jordanian automobile importers. 

The prices of electric cars are still expensive worldwide due to the limited number produced by manufacturers, particularly in the US, he said, adding that their price is expected to drop tangibly in the coming years. 

The majority of auto manufacturers in the world produce hybrid cars, and they will be manufacturing electric ones in the near future, Rumman explained. 

Electric cars in Jordan are exempted from taxes and fees in order to encourage the import of environment-friendly motors, he said. 

They are currently used by some in Jordan, including Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour, Lower House Speaker Atef Tarawneh and Senate President Abdur-Ra’uf S. Rawabdeh, in addition to several ministers and senior officials, he said. 

The fact that senior officials are driving these vehicles is a signal to start their wider adoption, Rumman argued.

He said demand for fuel efficient cars in Jordan is increasing. 

Since the government allowed their entry to the local market, the number of hybrids is over 65,000, according to Rumman. 

During the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa in May this year, held on the eastern shores of the Dead Sea, a memorandum of understanding was signed with manufacturers of electric cars — Tesla, BMW and Renault — to gradually adopt the use of electric vehicles in the public sector as an environment-friendly means of transport. 

In an initiative to support this move, Manaseer Group will offer supercharge services for electric vehicles at various gas stations throughout Jordan. 

Mercedes has also announced its intention to launch its electric car models in the Middle East, starting with Jordan.

 

By the end of this year, about 10 solar-powered electric car-charging stations are expected to be operating in Amman, according to the Jordan Competiveness Programme, which helped attract an investor to build the stations.

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