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Electric cars: opportunities, challenges

Inclusive infrastructure, traffic law, maintenance services, obstacles to automotive sector

The first session of Egypt Automotive in its fifth edition has shed lights on the most prominent challenges and obstacles facing the industry and marketing electric cars in Egypt, as well as solutions from the perspectives of both private and government sectors.

The session focused on the government’s plans and the private sector’s role in providing a stimulating environment and the necessary infrastructure for electric cars manufacturing and trading, and creating incentives for the industry with the aim of reducing costs.

Haleem Abou Seif, professor of public relations in Misr International University (MIU), who chaired the first session of the conference, said that electric cars are the main issue recently. “We have many questions over the future of these cars and the extent to which the infrastructure is ready to absorb them, in addition to the companies’ preparations to invest in this field.”

Moustafa Mourad, head of the Central Administration for Air Quality at the Ministry of Environment, talked about the opportunities and future of investment in the industry of electric cars. 

He said that international studies have shown that the transport sector is responsible for one-third of emissions which cause global warming. In Egypt, global warming results from old vehicles and traffic density.

Mourad explained that the ministry of environment’s policies in this regard considered public transport as the main reason behind pollution.

He pointed out that buses operating on gasoline cause four tonnes of pollutants annually more than electric vehicles. Electric cars will be of great economic feasibility in terms of limiting emissions.

Furthermore, Mourad added that pollutants mainly affect public health, increasing medical treatment expenses, noting that expanding in the use of electric power in transportation has been a basic policy for the ministry of environment in the recent period.

He added that the Passengers Transport General Authority in Alexandria has recently made a unique decision to import electric buses, and the ministry supports that.

Mourad added that a traditional bus travels 40,000 km throughout the year, and consumes on average about 5,000 litres.

Tamer Hegazy, the director general of Energy Studies and Research Department at the ministry of electricity, said that Egypt has a dream to locally produce electric cars and prepare the required infrastructure.

“Egypt felt how bad the situation was back in the period between 2008 and 2014 in terms of the power crisis. The situation is better now thanks to the environment ministry’s efforts over the past period,” Hegazy said.

“The ministry is interested in identifying the size and number of electric cars to enter the Egyptian market, so as to determine the size and type of services needed from the national grid or special charging stations,” he added.

Hegazy explained that the ministry of electricity aims to increase the volume of locally produced renewable energy in the upcoming period to represent 42% of the total produced energy in Egypt. This will certainly work for the electric cars sector.

Kohei Maeda, the chairperson and managing director of Nissan Motor Egypt, said that it is the era of electric cars, noting that electric car global sales reached 1.3bn units.

“At the end, we need a certain solution for the growing number of cars, especially that fossil energy is very costly and pollutes the environment, so we need to develop a technological solution to this issue,” he determined.

Maeda pointed out that Nissan launched its first electric car in 2010, and has managed to sell about 38,000 units around the world, which is the best international sales rate of this type at the moment, thanks to the company’s experience in the sector.

Topics: electric cars

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