(MENAFN- The Peninsula) Ayeni Olusegun |
Doha: Qatar is well on its way to achieving its goal of converting its public transport operation to the electric mode by 2030. As Qatar positions itself as a leader in the Gulf region to adopt electric vehicles (EV), reducing the dependence on fossil fuels, Mowasalat's (Karwa) announcement of replacing all its taxis with hybrid electric cars further ensures that Qatar meets this target.
“Electrification of transportation is crucial to reducing the usage of fossil fuels. In Qatar and the rest of the Gulf, we have a very high solar energy potential. So, if we accelerate the adoption of solar energy, we can get the maximum out of electric vehicle technologies and achieve sustainable transportation in the region,” Dr. Mohammed Y Al Qaradawi, Director of Qatar Transportation and Traffic Safety Center (QTTSC) at Qatar University, told The Peninsula.
According to Mowasalat, the vehicles use a self-charging Hybrid Electric System that runs on highly efficient low emission gasoline and electric motor. When starting up, stopping, or moving at a slow speed, the vehicle is run entirely on electric power. It estimates that each car will save around 12,000kg of CO2 compared to a taxi powered by a conventional fuel drive system.
Electric vehicles play an essential role in achieving the Qatar National Vision (QNV) 2030. Besides, powered by its sustainability goals and renewable energy to transition to an eco-friendlier, more sustainable economy, Qatar aims to have a 25% electric public transit bus fleet by 2022.
Dr. Al Qaradawi noted that Qatar and the region need to utilise the ample solar energy potential. Last year, Ashghal announced it had begun installing 653 electric chargers and 713 inverters in 41 charging sites under construction for the Public Bus Infrastructure Programme.
As per the US Environmental Protection Agency, a typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year once in use.
“The growth of the population and rapid economic development has significantly expanded the use of automobiles, which increased the shares of transportation as a source of emission of pollutants.'
“One of the environmental impacts of transportation is the depletion of non-renewable resources. Crude oil is considered the major source of fuel in this sector — since transport consumes 61.2% of the world's oil and subsidises around 28% of the total energy supply,” Dr. Al Qaradawi added.
A Vantage Market Research report said cars contribute to over 4% of global GHGs, and with more cars sold every year, this number will only go up. However, the same report said the EV market is approximately a $300bn with an annual growth rate of 25%. The number could double by 2025, it added.
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