by Muath Freij | May 24, 2015

Taxi Moumayaz will replace 300 cars with hybrid vehicles and up to 100 cars with electric vehicles, under an agreement signed with the Greater Amman Municipality (Photo by Osama Aqarbeh)

AMMAN — Noor Jordan for Transport — Taxi Moumayaz will start operating hybrid vehicles in the next three months following an agreement it signed with the Greater Amman Municipality, the company’s chairman, Eid Abu Al Haj, said Sunday.

Under the agreement, signed during the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa, which concluded at the Dead Sea on Saturday, the company will replace 300 cars with hybrid vehicles and up to 100 cars with electric vehicles at a value of $13 million.

Ayman Smadi, executive director of GAM’s transport and traffic department, said the agreement is part of the municipality’s vision in protecting the environment.

Smadi noted that suitable infrastructure is required to successfully operate electric cars and this is what GAM is planning to do.

“Soon, 10 electric charging stations will be established in several locations in the capital including Tlaa Al Ali and Raghadan complex. The services of these stations will be for free during the first year of operation,” he told The Jordan Times over the phone on Sunday.

Smadi said the electric cars will be operated in specific areas including Jabal Hussein, Abdali and downtown Amman under the slogan “Tawseelah” (pick up).

Abu Al Haj said the Tawseelah initiative is aimed at encouraging people to use public transport rather than their own cars in busy areas like downtown Amman and Rainbow Street.

“We want to alleviate traffic congestion and make people depend on public transport,” he told The Jordan Times.

Abu Al Haj noted that the hybrid cars will be Toyota and Hyundai, and the 100 electric cars will be either BMW or Nissan.

Amman residents interviewed by The Jordan Times welcomed the initiative, calling for using hybrid vehicles for all public transport services.

Arfat Al Fayoumi, a public sector employee, said he supports the project because it is environment friendly.

“I have a hybrid car and it is very efficient. This project is highly recommended”.

Nader Qahoush, another employee, described the project as great, but highlighted the importance of paying attention to the age of the battery.

“The age of the battery has to be recorded because if it is not replaced on time, it will have a negative impact on the environment,” he explained.

Saud Sharqawi was optimistic.

“This step will help save energy and money for the government and people. A large part of the government’s budget is spent on energy,” he noted.

Sharqawi said when the project is applied widely in the Kingdom, the number of mechanics specialised in these vehicles should also rise.

“This will encourage more people to replace their cars with hybrids,” he added