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Tuesday , September 29 2020

Kuwait gears towards use of zero-emission vehicles

Rules and regulations to be devised

The introduction of electrical machinery to the Kuwaiti market

KUWAIT CITY, Aug 27, (KUNA): Catching up with the rest of the world, Kuwait is gearing towards encouraging the use of zero-emission vehicles and setting regulations for such machines. Kuwait, in line with a global trend to better the environment, had set itself next year to introduce electrical vehicles to the market as well as devising rules and regulations to obtain such machines and also how to use them on the open road.

Speaking to KUNA, Mohammad Al-Naibari – a spokesman for the Dodge Company dealership in Kuwait – said that the idea of introducing zero-emission vehicles was a bit of a hassle at the beginning; however, the dealership pressed on forward trying to secure the rights to sell electrical vehicles in Kuwait.

The idea includes cars and motorcycles, which look identical to their fuel-consuming counterparts, but are completely environmental friendly, said Al-Naibari, adding that the dealership was not only responsible for selling the commodity, it also provided recharging points in public and private locations.

Demand
There are several types of such vehicles including hybrid semi-electric and fully-electrical vehicles, he explained. The demand for such machines is on the rise, claimed Al-Naibari, adding that according to a survey prepared by the dealership in 2018, 60 percent of clients were willing to buy zero-emission vehicles, while 90 percent were willing to make a purchase if the government laid the infrastructure and encouraged people to go electrical.

Despite some individualistic efforts to import electrical cars, Kuwait is a bit far from fully going zero-emission friendly due to several aspects including the decrease in fuel prices compared with other countries and the lack of basic infrastructure to host electrical vehicle such as power recharging stations and actual regulations. Another challenge would be changing the mindset of local cliental who got used to regular fuel consuming vehicles; however, this will not deter private companies and local dealerships from promoting zero-emission vehicles.

While the private sector is endorsing zero-emission vehicles, the government is carrying out similar steps to encourage the usage of electrical cars, motorbikes and so on. The Environment Public Authority (EPA), the Ministry of Water and Electricity, and the Public Authority for Industry (PAI) are all working on measures to promote zero-emission vehicles in line with the State of Kuwait’s keenness to join the efforts to curb the effects of climate change.

The Ministry of Electricity and Water in specific will construct recharge stations within its headquarters to serve the five percent of zero-emission vehicles it plans to purchase. The EPA and the PAI will join the fight for the environment and will coordinate efforts to encourage state bodies to choose electrical vehicles especially with the fact that Kuwait had recorded high temperatures this summer, a sign that climate change is on the rise.

By Fawaz Karami

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