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Egypt looks to build $20k electric vehicles with Chinese firms

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) shake hands during their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China on 1 September, 2018 [Egyptian Presidency Handout/Anadolu Agency]
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) shake hands during their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China on 1 September, 2018 [Egyptian Presidency Handout/Anadolu Agency]

In line with the region's push to reduce carbon emissions and increase investment in renewable energy, Egypt is looking to collaborate with a Chinese firm to produce affordable electric cars.

According to a report by Bloomberg today, Egyptian authorities are currently in contact with three Chinese companies, which they hope will join state-owned El Nasr Automotive Manufacturing Co. in the project worth $127 million and is set to begin in 2023, with plans for an annual output of 20,000 units over three years.

The report cited Public Enterprise Minister, Hisham Tawfik who said the car model will be named either E70 or A70 and will be sold for around $20,000 with half of the buyers expected to be taxi or Uber drivers.

Referring to the country's growing green energy sector, Tawfik said "Egypt now produces all kinds of clean energy"

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"This means we have the infrastructure to leap into the future with the automotive industry," he added.

According to the minister, the first phase of the project will be the establishment of some 3,000 electricity charging stations in three governorates and that a new company will be set up to manage them in partnership with a sovereign company with a 90 per cent share.

Despite being the Arab world's most populated country at over 100 million people, Tawfik estimated that there are currently only about 350 electric cars on the road.

At the beginning of the year, Egypt signed a memorandum of understanding with Chinese manufacturer Dongfeng Motor Co. which produces approximately 3.5 million A70 electric cars per year.

However, the agreement hit a stumbling block in November when the Egyptian Ministry of Public Works announced it had suspended negotiations with the company to produce the country's first ever electric car. The ministry stated that the reason for the stalled talks was due to "the inability to reach an agreement with Dongfeng to sufficiently reduce prices of the imported parts that are needed to manufacture the car and enable Al Nasr Automotive Manufacturing Company to manufacture cars and offer a competitive and attractive price for consumers."

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