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Tuesday, 11 May 2021

No more used EV imports as industry gets ready for local assembly

Importers can no longer bring in used electric vehicles (EVs) under a new Trade Ministry decision designed to boost local EV assembly. EVs imported from abroad must also be the latest model, which is a sharp u-turn from a 2018 decision by then-Trade Minister Tarek Kabil, which had allowed the import of second-hand EVs at zero custom charges provided they were less than three years old. The decision aims to “spur the development of a local EV industry in cooperation with major international auto companies,” minister Nevine Gamea said.

As of January, it was estimated that only 1k EVs were imported by showrooms or directly by end users since the Kabil-era decision was implemented, Ahmed Zein, an industry expert, told AlbawabhNews at the time. This was hoped to be a starting point for a wider rollout of EVs on the road, Zein said.

Now we’re pivoting to EV assembly, which is due to start as early as next month: State-owned El Nasr Automotive will be leading the charge (sorry, we couldn’t help it) in an agreement with China’s Dongfeng finalized in January. Mitsubishi Motors also said earlier this month it plans to use a Nissan-owned assembly line to start rolling out electric trucks and passenger cars.

So far, the government is relying on a mix of incentives to put more EVs on the road. This includes production subsidies for local players at up to EGP 50k per vehicle, set electricity prices used at charging docks, and customs breaks for imported components.

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