The maker of ‘Quds Rise’ expects 10,000 cars to be manufactured next year in the troubled Mediterranean world.
The Lebanese electric car started, the first time for the Mediterranean to make a car, although it is difficult financial problems and frequent electrical cuts.
The red toy car – called “Quds Rise”, using the Arabic name for Jerusalem – is the project of Lebanese businessman Palestinian Jihad Mohammad.
“It’s the first car in your area,” Mohammad told reporters on Saturday, revealing a parking lot south of Beirut.
Arrested in Lebanon “from beginning to end”, he said of the exhibition, which was erected in front of the gold logo of the Dome of the Rock, a temple located in the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, the third most holy place in Islam.
The car costs $ 30,000.
Production of 10,000 vehicles is expected to begin by the end of this year in Lebanon, with cars coming to market in a year, said Mohammad, chief executive of Lebanon’s EV Electra.
Mohammad, 50, said he founded the company four years ago after several years abroad, using Lebanese and Palestinian engineers among 300 workers.
He also said his long-term goal is to compete in the global market for electric vehicles, as well as to sell in Lebanon.
The revelation comes as Lebanon struggles with years of economic crisis, and car sales in other countries have declined slightly, among other things due to inflation and a sharp decline in the black market.
‘Drive in the right direction’?
Vendors sold only 62 cars in the first two months of 2021, about 97% less than the same period last year, figures released by the Association of Automobile Importers in Lebanon showed.
The economic crisis since the end of 2019 has passed beyond half of the population poverty.
But Mohammad says those wishing to buy in Lebanon will be offered the opportunity to pay half the new electric car in dollars, and the rest are paid Lebanese pounds at a higher price than the black market, to pay for five years without interest.
Lebanon is also dependent on fossil fuels, which are not enough for the nearly six million people who are cut off from power every day.
To power their new cars, the company wants to establish around 100 locations across the country connected to generators.
This could be exacerbated by solar and wind power, Mohammad said.
Independent electric researcher Jessica Obeid welcomed the innovations, but said the cars would be able to take care of the environment if the power sector changed significantly.
“The electricity sector is one of the main sources of greenhouse gas emissions in Lebanon,” he said, adding that he was concerned about the reduction in fuel prices, he told AFP.
But, he added, “if electric cars have solar panels, then this could be the right approach”.