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The Yooz two-seater quadricycle is Iran’s first domestically produced electric vehicle.
The Yooz two-seater quadricycle is Iran’s first domestically produced electric vehicle.

Iran President Test Drives Domestic Electric Car

There seems to be a strong policy decision to promote and prioritize plans to develop electric vehicles with public-private partnerships

Iran President Test Drives Domestic Electric Car

An updated version of an electric car and two electric motorbikes were unveiled in the presence of President Hassan Rouhani earlier this week at the courtyard of the presidential complex in Tehran. The vehicles are manufactured by domestic knowledge-based firms. 
A new version of the two-seater micro-electric vehicle 'Yooz' was test-driven by the president on the occasion marking National Clean Air Day, YJC reported. 
The Yooz quadricycle was designed and developed by engineers at Parax Company, affiliated to Islamic Azad University's Qazvin branch. The company specializes in designing small electric cars.
The two-seat battery-powered EV is 120 centimeters wide and two meters long. Its small size can help reduce parking problems in the major urban areas.
It weighs 400 kilograms and charged for three hours can cruise for 200 kilometers at 80 k/h. The car's maximum speed is 100 k/h and as far as looks go, Yooz closely resembles Renault's zero-emission quadricycle Twizy.
For comparison sakes, the Twizy weighs 474 kilograms and has a maximum driving range of 100 kilometers, according to the French company.
Financial Tribune contacted Renault's Iran office to see if they had any role in developing the Twizy-like vehicle. They did not respond.      
The Yooz, does not seem to be for sale currently. Online search for the vehicle gives no clue as to whether the small car will be commercially available. 
At the same event an electric motorcycle 'Avita' was also unveiled. The motorbike was built at the Shahid Rezaei Research Center affiliated to Sharif University of Technology.  
An electric motorcycle manufactured by the knowledge-based company Bana Sharif was also displayed at the event. 
Bana Sharif is a joint venture set up by Sharif University of technology and Jahanro Company which manufactures motor bikes. The company manufactures electric cars, hybrid cars and electric motorcycles.
While stressing the need for improving the quality and safety of such products, the president lauded the efforts of local manufacturers in the green auto sector.
On the sidelines of a cabinet meeting, the EV was also taken for a spin by Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi-Tabar. Also present were first Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri, Vice President for science and technology Sorena Sattari and the head of the Department of Environment, Massoumeh Ebtekar.  
Incentives
The Rouhani administration has been promoting the use of hybrids and EVs. But the declared policy, however, has been criticized by experts and observers on the grounds that the infrastructure for the shift to eco-friendly is not in place.
In an interview with the Financial Tribune in September 2016, Ebtekar addressed this issue saying that research and development is underway in the auto industries and extensive research is being done in universities. 
She asserted that some of the infrastructure is in place, referring to the large industry producing lithium batteries—one of the key components of electric cars and motorcycles.
Other measures taken by the administration include the removal of import tariffs on hybrid cars as a way to incentivize local carmakers to shift gears and produce alternative fuel production vehicles.
Furthermore owners of petrol/electric hybrid vehicles were recently exempted from paying extra for entering restricted traffic zones in the big cities. However, they must register their car a hybrid and this excludes CNG/gasoline hybrid vehicles.
The government is also taking some belated action to encourage taxi owners to change their dilapidated cars with new electric-gasoline hybrids. 
Aware of the serious dangers of air pollution that grips the capital fo almost the entire year, Tehran Municipality is taking measures to replace the buses with dual-fuel and electric-only buses. 
Late last year the Belarussian carriage builder Belkommunmash said it had signed an agreement with Tehran Bus Company to sell more than a dozen all-electric buses. 

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