Necessity Breeds Electric Car Innovation on the Gaza Strip
When gas costs $50 per gallon, creative solutions seem to spring forth.
The Christian Science Monitor (CSM) has reported on two business partners in Gaza who have converted a 1994 Peugeot 205 into an electric car capable of going 110 miles on a single charge using 34 standard lead-acid car batteries.
After more than a year of being blockaded by the Isreali government, Gazans find themselves facing out-of-sight prices for fuel.
Instead of letting that get the better of them, civil engineers Waseem Khazendar and Fayaz Anan claim to have developed an electric motor that is different than other electric motors and allows for improved efficiency.
The converted Peugeot has 15 horsepower and can travel at a top speed of 60 mph. To most Americans this may seem underpowered, but on the 25 mile long and 7 mile wide Gaza strip this amount of power and speed is more than satisfactory — and in reality, it’s probably more than satisfactory for most Americans too.
The business pair say that they already have a few thousand orders to convert gas cars into electric cars, but due to the blockade they only have enough supplies to convert 30-40 more vehicles.
The conversion purportedly costs a mere $2,500 dollars to accomplish. As reported by the CSM, US experts are baffled as to how the conversion could be done for so little money and that using even the cheapest parts available in the US it would cost 3 times as much to do the conversion here.
Kahzendar and Anan are in the process of trying to patent their invention and hope to work together with Israelis to create a multimillion dollar business.
A quote in the CSM from an Israeli businessman after considering the possibility of working with the Gazans sums it up nicely: “I believe that business creates peace, and any peace project is good for everybody.”
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Image Credit: CIA World Fact Book