In continuation of CEDARE’s activities in the Sustainable Transport in Egypt (STE) experience-exchange track, an international seminar was held on the 19th-20th of November, 2019. The event, The event, titled “The future of E-mobility and Urban Planning in Egypt”, was co-organized by CEDARE and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Egypt (FES) in partnership with the Egyptian Ministry of Environment.
The seminar was launched by H.E. Dr. Yasmine Fouad, Egyptian Minister of Environment, H.E. Dr. Cyrill Nunn, German Ambassador to Egypt, and H.E. Ms. Christina Kampmann, Board member of FES, and ex-minister of Family Affairs North-Rhine-Westphalia, Mr. Richard Probst, Resident Representative, FES Egypt, and Dr. Hossam Allam, Regional Program Manager, CEDARE. The core theme throughout the two days was the call to align new emerging technologies with the more holistic vision for sustainable and livable cities and human-centric development.
The event took stock of all the exciting developments that have unraveled over the past twelve months, since the first STE, and this time, as the sector matured, E-mobility was further linked to the broader framework of Sustainable Transport and Sustainable Cities at large. The policy brief on “Mainstreaming Electric Mobility in Egypt” was disseminated with an additional summary of updates of 2019.
Internationally renowned e-mobility experts and policy makers met to share experiences about deployment of EVs and EV infrastructure in various countries, including an in-depth exploration of the case of other countries in the Middle East and Europe. The state of play in Egypt was shared by key national stakeholders to jointly develop and refine the vision for the way forward. Speakers represented a wide range of stakeholders.
Keynote speakers included H.E. Dr. Khaled El Adli, Professor, Cairo University, Former Governor of Giza and Former VP of International Society of City & Regional Planners (ISOCARP), Prof. Soheir Hawas, of the National Organization of Urban Harmony (NOUH), Dr. Ayman Smadi, Director of International Association of Public Transport (UITP) MENA Region and Dr. Ahmed El-Dorghamy, Energy and Environment Expert at CEDARE.
A wide range of stakeholders were represented including academia, public authorities, private sector, development banks, and civil society organizations: experts and public stakeholders and decision makers from Jordan sharing experience, Cairo University and the American University in Cairo, Multilateral Development Banks including the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and World Bank, the Joint Committee for Energy Efficiency (JCEE), UNHABITAT, the German company e-trofit, the Egyptian companies Revolta Egypt and Manufacturing Commercial Vehicles (MCV), the civil society organization EV Club Egypt, the cycling advocates Tabdeel, Transport For Cairo (TfC).
The extensive stakeholder consultations resulted in the following key recommendations to policy makers:
- Diesel fuel standards before EVs if we are serious about solving air pollution. Despite promises presented by EVs for the environment, the priority to address air pollution still remains to be the Diesel fuel quality crisis, referred to as the “elephant in the room”. The recommendation is to set and enforce safe Diesel fuel specifications as a prerequisite to the e-mobility solution to air quality.
- Plan for people, not for technology. This motto means that focus should not be on EVs as a “silver bullet” for sustainable cities, but rather a wide mix of interventions is necessary to cater to people’s quality of life as the goal. EVs are only a contributor. Future cities must be primarily walkable, cycling friendly, characterized by mixed use and compact development, and equitably distributing public space, before introducing elements of emerging technologies in the city.
- Shared services and public transport must be the context of EV mainstreaming rather than private ownership. Combine public transport policies with private-car restriction policies and support to limit the loss in public space and reduce emissions from aging vehicles, while promoting the culture of sharing and public transport use and integration with sustainable last-mile solutions.
- Introduce fuel economy labeling schemes to inform consumers about energy savings and emission reductions, and to enable eventual introduction of Low Emission Zones (LEZs) schemes, whether in the Central Business District or in other historical and cultural heritage sites or areas of sensitive ecosystems.
- Develop strategy through a wider participatory approach. For longer term plans, develop national and/or city-wide masterplans as a fundamental prerequisite prior to further interventions, building on existing studies developed or under development and through sharing and disseminating results to coordinate efforts.
- Tap into available international support. There are numerous opportunities of available technical and financial assistance and cooperation dedicated to support climate change mitigation measures, and electric mobility in specific that must be recognized and used through improved coordination and sharing of information.
Dr. Ahmed El-Dorghamy noted that an update to the policy brief would incorporate meeting outcomes, and the 2019 edition of the E-mobility policy brief would be available for public by the end of the year, aiming to provide a non-technical overview of this developing sector and supporting policy makers to highlight recommendations for integrating e-mobility with other elements of sustainable cities in Egypt, and CEDARE aims to replicate the process in other countries in the Arab region. Furthermore, technical studies and strategies were highlighted by JCEE (grid-impact study available upon request for public), as well as by the Ministry of Military Production (national strategy for EV production noted, pending public disclosure).
Finally, in an important closing remark, Chem. Moustafa Mourad, head of the Environmental Quality Sector in EEAA thanked the guests and suggested the inclusion of a new emerging topic that will be of great relevance by next year; the issue of second-life and end-of-life batteries and the management of battery lifecycles as more EVs a rolled out in the coming year.
“Prospects for the MENA Region and key challenges”, Dr. Ayman Smadi, UITP
“Status of E-mobility in Egypt and aligning with principles of sustainable cities”, Dr. Ahmed El-Dorghamy, CEDARE (Summary of 2019 Updates available here),
“Sustainable Transportation & E-Mobility-Research & Product Development at Cairo University”, Dr. Ahmed Huzayyin, Cairo University
“Challenges in introducing cleaner bus technologies in Greater Cairo and the context of urban planning developments in Egypt”, Eng. Salma Mousallam, UNHABITAT
“Case study of E-mobility in Jordan and opportunities for emerging economies”, Eng. Shada El-Sherif, Jordan
“The role of MDBs”, Mr. David Allan, EBRD
“Mass Transit: An Integrated Approach to Sustainable Urban Development”, H.E. Prof. Khaled El Adli
“E-Mobility Development in the Context of the Egyptian-German Technical Cooperation“, Dr. Ahmed El-Guindy, JCEE
“The case of Jordan: Status, progress, and lessons learnt”, Eng. Muna Almusa, Energy & Minerals Regulatory Commission, Jordan
“Case study of rolling out charging infrastructure in Egypt”, Eng. Ahmed Zein, Revolta Egypt
“Light Electric Vehicles in Egypt and perspectives of the growing EV enthusiast community”, Eng. Ayman Mohamed, EV Club Egypt
“Investigating air pollution exposure in Greater Cairo’s transport micro-environments”, Eng. Rana Alaa, CArE-Cities Project