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Monday, 21 June 2021

Tuk-tuk owners should be able to swap their vehicles for natgas microbuses next month + we have a price tag for EVs infrastructure

Tuk-tuk owners will soon be able to apply to the natgas transition scheme: The cabinet yesterday decided to expand the Finance Ministry’s natgas transition scheme to include tuk-tuk owners, who should be able to apply to swap out their vehicles for natgas-powered microbuses as of next month, the Finance Ministry’s Automobile Financing Fund spokesperson Tarek Awad told Masaa DMC (watch, runtime: 6:39).

The Finance Ministry will provide financial support to help cover down payments for the new buses, Cabinet spokesperson Nader Saad told Ten TV (watch, runtime: 7:26). The remaining amount will be paid at reduced interest rates of as little as 3% under a financing program backed by the Central Bank of Egypt, in addition to life and auto ins. coverage which will be included in the payment plan, he added. Speaking to Enterprise, the initiative’s spokesperson Ahmed Abdel Razek said the size of the subsidies on offer is yet to be determined.

The government also plans on reducing the cost of tuk tuk licensing: A cabinet committee is expected to recommend a significant reduction of the fees required to obtain a tuk tuk license, in an attempt to legalise the status of as many of the 2.5-3 mn tuk-tuks in Egypt as possible, Saad said. Tuk tuk owners who do not register their vehicles before the deadline — which Saad posited could be set a year from the date registration for the program opens — could have their vehicles confiscated. Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 8:01) and Ala Mas’ouleety also had coverage (watch, runtime: 4:52).

Only owners who have licensed their tuk-tuks will be able to benefit from the swap initiative, spokesperson Ahmed Abdel Razek told Enterprise. Currently only around 10% of the country’s tuk-tuks are properly licensed, he said.

This plan has been in the works for a while: The government had previously announced plans to phase out tuk tuks in favor of natgas buses, and had discussed halting the issuing of tuk tuk licenses altogether. The Public Enterprises Ministry later shelved plans to work with GB Auto on manufacturing the nat gas minivans that would replace the tuk tuks. The new announcement did not include details on where the natgas vehicles to replace the tuk tuks would be sourced.

On another front, the government has delivered over 1.7k dual-fuel passenger cars so far, and expects to bring the total to over 2k by the end of June, Abdel Razek told us, with EGP 46.5 mn in incentives having been paid out. The program had delivered some 340 dual-fuel cars in April, including a first batch of around 30 vehicles. The government plans to extend additional incentives worth EGP 2 bn in FY2021-2022 to encourage car owners to take part in the state’s natgas transition plan.

IN OTHER ENERGY NEWS-

EGP 450 mn will be invested in setting up charging stations: The government’s project to set up a nationwide network for charging electric vehicles is expected to cost some EGP 450 mn, the Public Enterprises Ministry’s office told us, confirming statements attributed to minister Hisham Tawfik by Al Mal. The project — which is being led by industry leader Infinity and would see it set up 6k electric vehicle charging points across 3k stations nationwide — will be in partnership with an unnamed government entity, Tawfik told the newspaper. We reached out to Infinity, but they declined to comment, noting only that the plan is still in early stages.

Background: The government recently announced it’s tapping Infinity to lead Egypt’s largest EVs infrastructure push to date. The project aims to deploy some 2k charging points in 1k stations in Greater Cairo, Alexandria, and parts of Qalyubia during its first phase, before eventually rolling out 6k points across the country, Infinity told Enterprise in an emailed statement last week. It comes just in time for a state-led plan to begin testing imported Chinese E70 EV cars on Egypt’s roads as a prelude to local assembly.

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