Iran Readying Electric Car Infrastructure

Iran Readying Electric Car Infrastructure Iran Readying Electric Car Infrastructure

A deputy energy minister said Iran is developing the infrastructure to accommodate the influx of electric cars in Iran in a matter of years.

"In the near future, the number of electricity-powered vehicles will experience a bigger rise compared to gas guzzlers," Alireza Daemi also told Mehr News Agency.

Daemi was speaking at a meeting of power and water industries' officials and First Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri on Saturday.

"At present, 26 research and technological development plans are underway in the Energy Ministry, one of which pertains to electric cars," he said.

Underscoring the fact that supplying power to electric cars is the Energy Ministry's responsibility, Daemi said the ministry intends to develop the infrastructures for powering electric cars in a way that can be charged at home as well as in commercial and administrative places.

Referring to the prospective replacement of electricity with gasoline as fuel for vehicles, the official said, "We are preparing the ground, under which electric cars can be charged during off-peak hours."

An electric car is propelled by one or more electric motors, using electric energy stored in rechargeable batteries or another energy storage device. As of September 2015, there are over 30 models of highway legal all-electric passenger cars and utility vans available for retail sales, mainly in the United States, China, Japan and Western European countries.

By mid-September 2015, about 620,000 light-duty electric vehicles were sold worldwide out of the total global sales of one million plug-in electric cars sold since 2008.

As electric cars emit no toxic gases, they are 100% eco-friendly. The much quieter electrics require low maintenance as there is no need to lubricate the engine.

But they have downsides too, including a lack of recharging points, short driving range and speed, longer recharge time and requiring battery replacement. Moreover, cities already facing acute power shortage are not suitable for electric cars. The consumption of more power would hamper their daily power needs.

So far, the negatives of electric vehicles appear to outweigh the positives in the minds of individual consumers. Despite the media hype, electric cars have not yet grabbed a meaningful share in any of the three major auto markets—North America, Western Europe or China—which collectively account for 57% of the total global auto market.

The plan is unlikely to become a reality in Iran, at least not in the near future, as officials have time and again stressed that the Persian Gulf nation's top priority is to raise gasoline quality to meet Euro-4 standards and replace gasoline with compressed natural gas as a cleaner fuel.

With four million gas-powered vehicles, Iran is the second largest user of these cars in the world after China.

Daemi also noted that power production capacity will increase by 8,000 megawatts over the next two years, with efficiency in power plants expected to reach 42% from the current 37% within the same timeframe.

"The country has managed to decrease power wastage in distribution networks from 14.8% in March 2014 to 11% now," he said, adding that with the rise in efficiency, $660 million will be saved in costs annually.