AMMAN — The Cabinet on Wednesday extended the deadline for scrapping old fuel-run cars and exchanging them for hybrid vehicles until the end of 2017, according to the Jordan News Agency, Petra.

The decision also entails maintaining the reduction of the special tax rate on vehicles that partially operate on electricity with an engine size of 2500cc and lower.

The government had lowered the special tax rate to 25 per cent from 55 per cent.

The decision was taken in light of the “great demand” on hybrid vehicles, according to Petra. The deadline was supposed to expire by the end of this year.

Since the start of this year, around 4,850 old cars have been scrapped and replaced with hybrid vehicles, Petra reported.

The Jordan Free Zone Investors Commission (JFZIC) had urged the government to extend the deadline for scrapping old fuel-run cars and exchanging them for hybrid vehicles.

In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Hani Mulki earlier this month, the JFZIC said that “due to the hard economic situation that Jordanians are going through, and the increasing customs duties on gasoline-powered cars, citizens have leaned towards using hybrid cars since they are affordable”.

“Hybrid cars seem to be the most economical option, since their fuel consumption and prices are low compared to petrol cars,”, head of JFZIC, Nabil Rumman, told The Jordan Times in previous remarks.

“Since Jordan sadly does not have a proper public transportation system, cars are nearly a must for every employed individual or university student,” he added.

The decision was originally taken in 2012 in light of the great demand on hybrid vehicles, and the deadline has been extended ever since.

From June 30, 2012, when the Cabinet adopted the decision, to October 4, 2015 more than 28,600 old fuel-run cars were scrapped and exchanged for hybrid vehicles.