Lebanon is ill-prepared for electric mobility
Lebanon is ill-prepared for electric mobility The latest move to encourage the use of electric vehicles (EVs) in Arab markets came in Dubai. Last month, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority announced incentives for EVs that include exemption from road tolls and registration fees at the Road and Transport Authority, and free charging and parking at specially assigned locations.
The emirate expects to have some 32,000 EVs and hybrids on the road by 2020, and 42,000 by 2030. For Dubai, this actually seems a somewhat small proportion, given that data from the past few years showed that vehicle sales were around a million, and vehicle density is one of the highest in the world at 540 registered vehicles per 1,000 residents in an emirate with 2.8 million inhabitants. However, when compared with other countries in the region, such as Lebanon, Dubai’s EV initiatives appear strong.
Lebanon was once a pioneer in terms of the import and sale of cars in the Arab world. Agents, dealers, and distributors played a valuable role in the introduction of the automobile to Lebanon and the entire Arab region in the beginning of the 20th century.
Today, about 100 years after the combustion engine started its worldwide conquest, the automotive era is changing radically with the introduction of hybrid and electric cars. This alternative fuel story began in the 1990s, when personal transporters (like the electrically powered chairs for seniors) and light EVs were patented, and a range of hybrid cars was envisioned and produced.
The grandfather of hybrids was the Toyota Prius, which combined a combustion engine with an electric powertrain. It penetrated markets around the world, and its success was most noticeable in