Egypt is due to commence technical examinations in preparation for producing the first-ever Egyptian electric vehicles (EVs) in June, as the country pushes forward with efforts to join the global trend of encouraging battery-powered car markets.
The announcement was made by the Ministry of Public Business Sector on Tuesday after Minister Hisham Tawfik toured the state-owned El-Nasr Automotive Manufacturing Company, which is planned to produce EVs in partnership with China’s Dongfeng Motor Industry Import and Export Company.
The technical tests are scheduled to last for three months, the statement added.
The production of EVs would bring a contract inked in January 2021 between Egypt and Dongfeng, which produces about 3.5 million A70 EVs per year, into action. The contract aims to produce EVs in Egypt within the framework of bilateral partnership.
The vehicles are slated to be produced by mid-2022, with an annual production capacity of 25,000 cars, according to Tawfik.
The minister visited the decades-old El-Nasr company to inspect 13 China-made A70 EVs that were imported to undergo testing in Egypt’s atmosphere before starting the production process.
The step of testing the Chinese cars in Egypt is “necessary” to determine the final specifications of the car that will be locally produced in the factories of El-Nasr Company, the statement added.
Tawfik discussed with Hani El-Khouli, the managing director of El-Nasr Company, the means of charging the EVs via different charging units installed at gas stations nationwide.
Egypt has 75 EV charging units and plans to increase them to 3,000 during the first year of producing the E70 cars, the minister noted.
He reiterated that the country’s leaning to produce EVs comes in light of the directives of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to localise these environment-friendly cars, reduce dependence on fuels, and keep pace with global progress in the automobile industry.
Egypt has been working on a sustainable transport project as part of efforts to reduce emission levels in the country. The country aims to boost its reliance on renewable energy as part of its efforts to achieve sustainable development.
Also, the country aims to produce 2,000 electric buses within the coming four years, according to remarks by late Minister of Military Production Mohamed El-Assar last year.
The number of EVs on roads worldwide rose to a record high of 3.1 million in 2017, an increase of 57 percent from 2016, according to a report by the International Energy Agency published in May 2018.
China, the US, and Europe are the world’s three main markets, with the UK planning to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars starting the year 2040 in an attempt to reduce air pollution.
During the signing ceremony of Dongfeng’s contracts earlier this year, Tawfik said Egypt is one of the first countries to enter that race to reduce emissions and limit the use of fossil fuels that have negative impacts on Egypt’s citizens.
Last year, El-Sisi called on the government to work on establishing a regional centre for manufacturing and exporting EVs in cooperation with global automakers.
In September 2018, Egypt had decided to exempt EVs from custom duties, only collecting value-added tax. Tariffs were also reduced for hybrid vehicles operating on electricity and petrol.