Qatar Free Zones Authority is set to establish the country’s first factory to assemble electric vehicles, and 25% of the country’s public transport buses will be electric by 2022.

Qatar Free Zones Authority (QFZA) has signed an agreement with Gaussin Advance Mobility, a French company, to establish the country’s first factory to assemble electric vehicles in Ras Bufontas Free Zone. 

The €20 mn deal enables the partnership between the French company and Al Attiya Motors and Trading Company, to assemble electric cars and accelerate the production of emission-free vehicles.

Ahmad bin Mohammed Al Sayed, the Minister of State and Chairman of QFZA, said:

At the national level, this partnership will allow us to further support our national champions, in addition to establishing an R&D centre to support the development of vehicle technologies and products, which will in turn support the growth and success of these companies in this vital sector in Qatar.’

Abdul Aziz Al Attiya, Chairman of Al Attiya Motors and Trading Company, added:

This will become one of the most technologically advanced machines dedicated to serve seaports, airports, logistics and smart cities in Qatar. This partnership promises to provide outstanding opportunities that will benefit both the region and the globe.’

Electric public transport

The State of Qatar announced that 25% of public transport buses will be electric by 2022.

Public buses, public-schools’ buses, and Doha Metro feeder buses will gradually be transformed into electric buses, in order to achieve the required percentage to reduce the rate of carbon emissions caused by traditional buses by 2030.

This comes in the implementation of the electric vehicles strategy prepared by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) in cooperation with other authorities, as part of the ministry’s strategy to provide an integrated multi-modal transportation system on a global level that provides safe, reliable, and environmentally friendly services, in line with achieving the pillars of Qatar National Vision 2030 of social, economic and environmental development.

The electric buses will be used as the main service during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, which will be the first tournament to use electric mass transit buses. Qatar aims to host an exceptional world cup tournament that is environmentally-friendly and ‘carbon neutral’.

The Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa), in coordination with the MOTC, is working on establishing an integrated network of electric vehicle charging devices to support the MOTC’s plan to gradually transform the electric transmission system. By the end of 2020, 30 electric chargers will operate and 100 will operate in 2021. In addition, the largest electric charging station in the region will be established in Lusail City, running on solar energy and linked with all stations.

The MOTC is currently working with Mowasalat (Karwa) on a comprehensive plan to convert all taxi cars to electric power in the future. The company plans to purchase 140 electric taxis in 2020–21, to be put into operation to service Hamad International Airport (HIA) in the first stage. In addition, 100 electric car parks will be constructed in the first stage, and work is underway to include parking lots in proposed tenders.

This transformation will support the development of an infrastructure for an integrated and multimodal electric public transport system in the country – the first of its kind in the region – as a number of permanent warehouses will be established in multiple regions of the country distributed in a thoughtful geographical arrangement, containing facilities for parking, shipping and maintenance equipment. Administrative buildings and housing for employees and drivers will be completed in 2022, in addition to a number of major stations that also support electrical transport services.

Author: Ola Diab

This feature is an editorial from the ‘Motoring’ section in Marhaba – Issue 79 (December 2020). You can also enjoy this feature in our new Motoring e-Guide:

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