Hybrid, EV Guidelines Proposed

Hybrid, EV Guidelines Proposed
Hybrid, EV Guidelines Proposed

The government's Infrastructure Commission has approved guidelines for the production of hybrids and electric vehicles prepared by the Ministry of Industries, Mines and Trade.

The implementation of the guidelines is waiting the Cabinet's approval, the ministry's director general of the Vehicle Department, Amir Hossein Qanati said.

"Loans will be given to those who plan to buy EVs or hybrids."

The exact amount of the loan will be announced once the government approves the plan, Tasnim News Agency quoted the official as saying.

Earlier, Deputy Minister of Industries Mohsen Salehinia had said that since EVs and Hybrids are more expensive than other cars, in most countries potential buyers receive cash subsidies and discounts on excise duty. Also, to promote the production of such cars, special dispensations are made by governments for companies producing the vehicles. The guidelines prepared by the ministry also proposed promotional methods such as tax exemption and insurance discounts, the official said.

"It also includes a chapter on energy efficiency and electricity usage. EV owners are encouraged to recharge car batteries during off-peak hours so that they will partially be reimbursed for their electricity bills."

The Ministry of Industries, Mines and Trade, Ministry of Energy and the Department of Environment are jointly working to prepare a methodology for manufacturing and importing hybrids and EVs.  "Producing EV batteries is first and foremost a priority in preparing the needed infrastructures," Salehinia said.

Although the government has suggested several incentives for the production and import of EVs and hybrids, there are still several other problems that need to be assessed, a member of the board of directors of Vehicle Importers Association, Abdolreza Fahimi, said in a press conference late in May.

"As international standards of imported EVs and hybrids are not in alignment with national standards, the import process is prolonged. With a limited number of EVs and hybrids reaching the Iranian market, prices are artificially high and buyers are the ones who must eventually pay this price," he explained. Only one foreign car has been given 100 percent tax exemption in Iran so far: the Lexus CT200h.

President Hassan Rouhani inaugurated two new hybrid cars produced by Iran Khodro in March. The two plug-in hybrid cars, based on the regular IKCO Runna, have so far not made it into production.

Other smaller local manufacturers have also begun to build hybrid and electric vehicles. Local carmaker Diar Khodro unveiled the country's first domestically manufactured electric car named Sabrina, Fars News Agency reported in January.

The report said Diar Khodro had begun a trial production of the Sabrina EV and expected large-scale manufacturing to begin on March 20, 2016. The company plans to manufacture 42,500 units a year.