Jordan may soon join the list of countries that heavily promote electric cars.

Located between Israel and Saudi Arabia, Jordan isn't generally thought of in connection with electric cars, but its government hopes to change that with a combination of incentives and infrastructure buildup.

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The country will waive import tariffs in electric cars--which would normally double their price--and spend $120 million to install a network of solar-powered charging stations, according to a recent Navigant Research blog post.

Photovoltaic solar power field at Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Photovoltaic solar power field at Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee

The plan is for 3,000 charging stations to blanket the country, with the first 11 already set to be installed in the capital of Amman.

The first stations will likely be located at shopping malls, tourist destinations and public parking lots, but to build a truly comprehensive network additional stations will have to be installed in lower-traffic areas as well eventually.

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Some of the charging stations will have solar canopies, while others will get their energy from offsite solar farms. Battery packs will be used to store excess energy.

The network will be built by a consortium of companies and funded through the USAID Jordan Competitiveness Program--which is intended to create jobs and increase Jordan's technological competitiveness.

The Jordanian government views the promotion of electric cars as a sensible economic policy.

BMW DesignworksUSA solar carport concept

BMW DesignworksUSA solar carport concept

Electricity is about 25 percent the cost of gasoline as a fuel in Jordan.

The country imports 95 percent of its energy but--on the other hand--it does have abundant sun.

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AllCell--the company leading the charging-network consortium--expects electric-car sales in Jordan to eventually reach 10,000 units per year.

Extensive charging networks--along with robust incentives--have helped spur electric-car adoption in other countries. It will be interesting to see how things play out in Jordan.


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