CAIRO: Egypt is motoring ahead with ambitious plans to expand its production of eco-friendly electric vehicles.
Government officials are closing in on securing cooperation agreements with a number of major car manufacturers, in the wake of a recently signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a Chinese automotive group to make electric buses, trucks and taxis.
As part of the country’s drive toward investing in renewable energy projects, the Egyptian Minister of Public Business Sector Hesham Tawfik toured factories in China to see some of the latest advances in electric-vehicle manufacturing.
And separately, Egypt’s Minister of State for Military Production Mohamed El-Assar attended a ceremony to ink an MoU between his ministry’s National Organization for Military Production and China’s Geely Auto group to produce battery-powered vehicles. During his visit to China, Tawfik was given a guided tour of the Dongfeng motor company’s factories in Wuhan.
According to a ministerial statement, he was shown the various stages of testing for battery efficiency in extreme hot and cold weather and was told how the technology could be applied to suit road and climatic conditions unique to Egypt and other parts of the world.
Tawfik also toured production lines, the company’s state-of-the-art laboratories, its battery plant, and assembly facilities. A number of vehicles that could be put together in Egypt were tested too.
The minister listened to a presentation from Dongfeng officials about the company’s range of models, including military, business and passenger vehicles.
During a meeting with the firm’s CEO and top managers, Tawfik and his delegation discussed possible cooperation on the production of electric vehicles in Egypt through state-owned automobile companies.
Meanwhile, the signing of the MoU with Geely forms part of the Egyptian Ministry of Military Production’s plans to localize the technology of manufacturing electric vehicles in its affiliated companies, in line with state strategy to expand the use of electric transport to benefit the environment and economy.
It follows on from an agreement this year between the ministry’s armored-vehicle production and repair operation and the Chinese Foton Motor Co. to manufacture 2,000 electric buses over four years. The deal was signed during Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s visit to China in April on the sidelines of the Belt and Road Forum.
Abdel Monem El-Qady, vice chairman of the Chamber of Engineering Industries, part of the Federation of Egyptian Industries, told Arab News that Egypt was adopting a strong approach toward the manufacture of electric vehicles to replace those run by fuel.
He said electric buses and other vehicles were already operating in Alexandria and that the country was developing a plan to step up its existing vehicle production capacity after putting in place the necessary infrastructure.
El-Qady added that the eco-friendly nature of electric vehicles would help to reduce environmental pollution in Egyptian cities such as the capital Cairo.