Electric Cars in Gaza: Necessity is the Mother of Invention!

electric car gaza picture
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

Want to learn more about green automobiles in the Middle East? Check out Hybrid Cab Fleet Taking Over Tel Aviv? or The Electric Car Hype Intensifies

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7 thoughts on “Electric Cars in Gaza: Necessity is the Mother of Invention!”

  1. This is great stuff.
    I would wish that innovation such as this would become mainstream regardless of the current political and environmental conditions.

    Robert

  2. Just a little nitpick – but an important one, in my view.

    There are greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from driving this car, just not from the tailpipe. The electricity to drive the car comes from 70% burning of coal and almost all of the rest from burning oil or natural gas – all fossil fuels which emit substantial GHG. And that’s the good scenario: if the electricity comes from a diesel generator, then the GHG emissions are greater and air pollution is MUCH worse. Just because no emissions come out of the tailpipe, doesn’t mean that they disappear. In fact, instead of being spread out over large areas, they are concentrated in 2 or 3 point sources, usually in areas that have a disproportionate impact on poorer communities.
    The benefit of electric vehicles stems from the greater efficiency in centralized power production, and in the greater conversion of electrical energy into drive power.
    So on the balance, the electric car is beneficial – especially as the renewable portion increases – but it is not a ZEV (zero emissions vehicle) as some would present it.

  3. Jeff says:

    And as we always hear in the alternative energy field, there is no one solution to the problem but many. A few months ago it was widely reported (I believe on Green Prophet as well) how the Gazans were making biodiesel from falafel grease (http://features.us.reuters.com/autos/news/L30461830.html). Perhaps the Israeli blockade will serve as incubator for even more wonderful innovation?

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