File photo: One of the Two electric buses arrived from China (photo courtesy of Egypt's cabinet Facebook page
Egypt's Minister of Military Production Mohamed El-Assar told MPs in a meeting on Sunday morning that Egypt aims to produce 2,000 electric buses within the coming four years.
"We plan to produce 500 electric buses a year, or a total of 2,000 within four years, and there is a possibility that this number will increase to 5,000 by the year 2024," said El-Assar.
Addressing parliament's industrial committee, El-Assar said the first electric bus will be produced in Egypt next November.
"These buses will operate inside major cities in the first stage," said El-Assar, adding that "a memorandum of understanding will be signed with an American Company – Foton – to produce electric buses in Egypt."
El-Assar revealed that the government has contracted the Chinese car-maker Geely to also produce electric vehicles.
"To achieve this objective, we will begin with setting up electric charging stations in cooperation with companies that have experience in this sector," said El-Assar.
He said that the government and the Ministry of Military Production are under orders from President Abdel-Fatah El-Sisi to spread the industry of electric vehicles in Egypt.
"As a result, the Ministry of Military Production has so far held seven meetings to draw up a strategy in this new sector, and once finished it will be presented to the president to be ratified," said El-Assar, adding that "the costs of producing and maintaining electric vehicles are low, not to mention they are environment friendly."
"Egypt is now more qualified to join the age of vehicle production after 40 years of focusing on just assembling automobiles," said El-Assar.
El-Assar also revealed that Egypt has come a long way in producing car batteries.
"I will announce the details of this only after we reach an advanced level," said El-Assar, adding that the factories affiliated with the Ministry of Military Production are the ones that are working on producing car batteries.
El-Assar indicated the private sector is the one in charge of setting up all feeding industries necessary to the production of vehicles in Egypt.
"We also trying to restructure Al-Nasr Car Company, and I think that the government will reach a final decision on the future of this public sector company very soon," said El-Assar.