The Gaza Strip seems like the last place in the world where we would hear good news on the environmental – or any – front. Since Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip last summer, Israel has imposed a nearly total blockade, resulting in shortages of everything from fuel to water to food and medical supplies.
In the context of this crisis, two innovators from Gaza, Waseem Khazendar and Fayaz Anan, decided to respond to the dire conditions of their community, and in doing so made this corner of the globe a little greener.
Khazendar and Anan created the first Palestinian electric car!
Khazendar and Anan converted a 1994 Peugot 205 to run on 34 standard car batteries. It travels up to 60 mph, and can run for up to 100 miles on a single charge. The car can be charged by a standard electrical outlet for just $1.50 per charge, which is a stark contrast to the $50 per gallon highs that Gaza Strip drivers have paid for gasoline.
And best of all, the car produces zero greenhouse gas emissions!
Four hundred people in Gaza have already lined up to pay $2,500 for the conversion. Because of the Israeli blockade, however, Anan says that they only have the supplies to convert 30 or 40 cars. If Israel allows more materials to cross the border, it might drop the conversion price to $1,700.
The pair are thinking of turning their project into a multimillion dollar business. Khazendar spoke with an Israeli firm about obtaining a patent for their engine. Anan said he would be happy to work with Israelis for business: “Maybe we, Israelis and Palestinians, can save the world together.”
::Christian Science Monitor
Photo: Mohammed Salem/Reuters