The Middle East is not the first region that comes to mind as an EV hotspot. However, the desert kingdom of Jordan has a plan to get charged. Jordan has eliminated import taxes on EVs. The city government of Amman, the capital, plans to buy 50 EVs for its fleet, and a city taxi operator has committed to buying 100.
To jump-start the country’s EV infrastructure, Jordan has awarded Chicago’s AllCell Technologies a $120-million contract to provide up to 3,000 solar-powered EV charging stations during the next decade. For now, the plan is for AllCell to set up two stations in Amman this year, and eight more next year. Project partners include Hyseo International, a leading solar developer in Europe and DBT, a French company that pioneered EV charging and a major supplier of EV charging systems in Europe.
About 600 of the stations will include battery backup to allow off-grid charging, while the rest will be grid connected.
AllCell CEO Said Al-Hallaj is a dual citizen of Jordan and the US. He co-founded the company in 2001 based on his research in lithium-ion batteries at the Illinois Institute of Technology.
“We see this project as an opportunity to highlight the value proposition for our lithium-ion battery systems and entice others in the region to copy our business model in Jordan and buy more batteries from us,” says Al-Hallaj.
At present, sunny Jordan relies on diesel and gas-fired generation. “It therefore is a no-brainer to embrace EVs charged by solar power,” said Ayman Smadi, Executive Director of Amman’s Transport and Traffic Department. “Amman is committed to combating climate change.”