Venture Explains: The Electric Car

What is it? After a few stalled starts, some believe we’re now finally on the brink of an electric car revolution. Sales of all-electric vehicles (including their plug-in hybrid cousins) are surging worldwide thanks to a combination of stricter global carbon emission targets and cheaper and improved technology, such as bigger capacity batteries. According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, sales of electric cars in the UK in the first half of the year jumped 350 percent to over 14,000.

What about Jordan? BMW recently released its i3 hatchback here, the first all-electric vehicle to be commercially available in the Kingdom. BMW says drivers of the emission-free vehicle needn’t suffer from “range anxiety,” as unlike its predecessors it can cover 130 to 160 kilometers on a single charge. The government has waived import charges on the futuristic-looking city run-about, which is available from around JD30,000. GAM is also planning to set up 10 solar charging points around Amman soon. So in all, we can expect to see most other major automakers like General Motors and Renault beginning to introduce mass-market electric cars to Jordan in the not-too-distant future.

Any drawbacks? Toyota’s hydrogen-powered Mirai looks like it might be able to give electric cars a run for their money. Toyota says the vehicle, which will go on sale in California this summer, can travel around 500 kilometers on a single tank.