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Officials take a closer look at the Chinese-derived electric bike.
Officials take a closer look at the Chinese-derived electric bike.

Iran's Electric Vehicle Evolution

Electric motorbikes are making a slow but steady impact in several cities
The Isfahan event followed a similar specialized electric vehicle event in Tehran in 2015

Iran's Electric Vehicle Evolution

Electric motorbike manufacturers have shown their latest two-wheelers at a recent exhibition in the central tourist city of Isfahan, according to IMNA, Isfahan Municipality’s news agency.

As part of the Rouhani government’s push towards environmentally-friendly    transport, motorcycles, and other smaller vehicles have been earmarked for preferential support and promotion due to the worsening air pollution from the high and rising number of gas guzzlers produced largely by domestic carmakers.

The exhibition is part of Isfahan Municipality, and the New Technology Center of Isfahan’s (NTC) push to make the city a hub of green research and technology over the next decade.

 Jahanro

Iran’s largest electric bike and car importer and assembler Jahanro took pride of place at the event last week to showcase vehicles including a four-wheeler which resembles a golf buggy but is also road worthy, according to the firm.

The company which is based near Tehran’s Valiasr Square has been pushing the sub-sector of vehicles for the past two years, and also hopes to take advantage of recently introduced rules and regulations which aim to do away with gasoline-powered motorcycles.

According to the event organizers, several of the two-wheelers will be assembled in Esfahan in CKD format with parts coming from abroad. Tires, however, may be sourced from local companies.

Jahanro had several vehicles on show including the JS150 and JS 150-II which have a range of just under 10 km.

Another brand represented by the company was the Volta BCN sport, an off-roader motorbike, with an average range of 70 km and weighing 135 kg.

Another vehicle -- not a motorcycle -- on show was the Biro by Estrima, which is a two-seater golf cart like vehicle which supposedly has permission to go on the road. The vehicle has a 44.4Kv battery with a range of 55 km, according to its Italian parent website.

There was also a “Lithium Maxi” version of the small vehicle which has an extended range of 100 km and a charge time of up to six hours.    

 VMOTO Bikes

VMOTO, an Australian-Chinese bike maker, was also on show at the exhibition with their range of all-electric bikes.

Several of the models were on show including the foldable City Series 80S and 80L models, as well as the larger V and VX series.

Interestingly for many company owners, the brand offered their latest V-120LD model to Iranian buyers, which incorporates a box on the rear of the bike.

This one would be immediately interesting to several firms in Iran as the country has a large motorbike-delivery industry.

Other smaller EV makers on show included other Chinese electric motorcycle brands, namely Kangaro, Vitra, and Vectrix.

On the sidelines of the event, Isfahan mayor, Reza Amini, said that “it is the people’s right to have clean air,” noting the benefits of electric vehicles, Mehr News Agency reported.

The mayor also said that as part of his tourist city’s plan to develop the industry, he hopes to purchase around 500 hybrid buses and also expand the much-delayed subway system.

Amini said he hopes that with the support of the municipality he could empower local manufacturers to produce quality electric vehicles, in particular, electric motorbikes.

“By introducing 5,000 electric bikes in the city, we can combat pollution equivalent to nearly 40,000 gasoline-fueled  cars.”

 EVs in Iran

The Isfahan event follows a similar specialized electric vehicle event in the Tehran in 2015, the International Symposium on New Technologies in Hybrid and Electric Cars.

At that event, Diar Khodro, which at the time was touting the benefits of Chinese-made electric cars, showed its latest imports.

Another car on exhibition during that event, also imported by Jahanro was the Tazzari Zero.

Hybrid vehicles have had a slow take-up in Iran ever since their introduction.  

In 2014, President Hassan Rouhani issued a decree promoting the use of electric vehicles.

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