The region's largest solar-powered charging station for electric vehicles will be established in Lusail City, the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) has said.
Informing this Wednesday, the MoTC said in a statement that 25% of the public transit bus fleet in Qatar would become electric by 2022.
"Public buses, government school buses and Doha Metro feeder buses will gradually shift to electrification, thus hitting the rollout percentage that is required to reduce harmful carbon emissions from buses by 2030, in addition to honouring the concerted efforts that aim to maintain environmental sustainability," the ministry stressed.
An infographic highlighting the public transit electric transformation plan
This comes as the MoTC is executing the electric vehicle strategy it has developed in collaboration with the bodies concerned, and which is part of its strategy to "provide an integrated, world-class, multi-modal transportation system that offers safe, reliable and eco-friendly services in line with the pillars of Qatar National Vision 2030 for social, economic and environmental development".
The electrified buses will be used during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, making it the first championship where electric mass transit buses will be deployed. This is a move that "clearly demonstrates Qatar’s commitment to clean energy solutions for transportation in the world and supporting the determination to host an exceptional, eco-friendly, carbon-neutral event", the statement notes.
As part of the strategic plans, the Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation (Kahramaa) is co-ordinating with the MoTC to establish an integrated network of electric vehicle charging devices. To date, 11 chargers have been installed and are working uninterrupted. Nearly 30 more chargers will be installed and activated during 2020 and some 100 more in 2021. "Moreover, there is a plan to establish the largest solar-powered electric charging station in the region in Lusail City, and it will be connected to all stations," the MoTC said.
The ministry is also working with Mowasalat (Karwa) on a comprehensive plan to electrify all Karwa taxis over the coming years. Karwa is planning to purchase some 140 electric taxis this year, to be deployed for service around Hamad International Airport (HIA) in the first phase.
Further, the MoTC has finalised developing standards and specifications for electric vehicles, endorsed by the Qatar General Organisation for Standardisation and Metrology. Those standards and specifications will be shared with all stakeholders and bodies concerned.
In addition, 100 electric vehicle parking spaces will be established in the first phase, a project that is being included in the tendering process already.
Under the strategy, such an electrification shift will support building an infrastructure for an integrated, multi-modal electric public transit system in the country, which is the first of its kind in the region, the statement points out.
Several permanent depots, distributed in a well-considered geographical order, will be established in various areas across the country. These will include facilities for parking as well as for charging and maintenance equipment, in addition to administrative buildings and staff and drivers’ accommodation, which will be completed during 2022, plus several main stations that also support electric transit services.
"The electric vehicle strategy backs the country’s agenda for a greener future and contributes to striking an economic-environmental balance in a way that ensures the transportation sector’s infrastructure projects' sustainability, supporting economic growth and making the most out of the natural resources by increasing the revenues of oil and gas sectors and developing the means of transportation through deploying clean and alternative energy in accordance with latest universal eco-friendly systems to reduce carbon emissions and, therefore, create a clean, healthy and safe environment for generations to come," the statement adds.