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Jordan Positioning Itself as a Leader in EVs in the MENA Region

09.14.17 | Blog | By:

It’s not just European countries, parts of the U.S. and China that are exploring electric vehicle uptake. Other countries, including even the Middle East, are doing so as well. This post from Thaher Khalaileh of Jordan Petroleum Refining Co., explores the government’s initiatives to promote EVs as a way to reduce fossil fuel dependence and meet other objectives.

Jordan, bordered from all sides by oil and gas exporting neighbors, is a rare non-oil producing country in its region with the annual cost of oil imports during the year 2016 ― including both crude oil and finished oil products― reaching about US$1.8 billion. An obvious outcome, therefore, has been continuous search for fossil fuel alternatives. One such alternative increasingly promoted by the government has been electric vehicles (EVs).

On February 12, 2017 a National Green Growth Plan (NGGP) for Jordan was approved by the government after about two years of development, led by the efforts of the Ministry of Environment and largely supported by the German Federal ministry for the Environment (BMUB) and the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI). The plan composed several “green projects” including supporting and promoting the use of EVs in the kingdom.

This project aims to reduce Jordan’s dependence on imported energy and lower its reliance on gasoline for mobility; to increase electricity generated from renewable sources, to improve air quality in Amman and other Jordanian cities by supporting the uptake of EVs, and to make Jordan a leader in EV integration in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Other projects in the NGGP include the construction of the long awaited Aqaba –Zarqa refinery oil pipeline, a bus rapid transit (BRT) project between Amman and the city of Zarqa, renewable energy desalination and rail freight revitalizing.

The actual pilot testing of EVs in Jordan started in 2014 when the first electric charging station was unveiled, reflecting the initial outcomes of the USAID funded program implemented by Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI). Since then the number of EVs in Jordan increased as shown in the following table:





First half 2017

No. newly registered EVs in Jordan *





No. charging stations

One charging station for EVs owned by the government

Between 1 & 10 stations for EVs owned by the government ( No exact figure available)

10 stations in Amman for charging EVs owned by the government

5 new stations for private sector, but specifically designed for Tesla cars only. (In addition to previous stations built in 2014, 2015, 2016 for government. A total of 15 stations)

 * The figures represent the Number of EV’s registered each indicated year. The accumulative number of EVs is the sum of the above.

In an effort to encourage the use of EVs in the kingdom, the government has waived import duties on them and on parts used for charging EVs. Although no official numbers are available for the number of EVs sold during the first half of 2017, the estimates are showing a sharp increase and some sources are saying sales reached double the figures compared to the same period during the year 2016.

The Jordanian government in a relatively similar manner but at earlier stages also encouraged the use of hybrid cars in the kingdom through reductions on imports duties and sales taxes, the table below shows the increase in the number of hybrid cars registered during the past five years:







No. of hybrid vehicles







The government is also providing incentives to the use of solar panels as the source of power in the EV charging stations, further reducing the use of fossil fuels in electric generation.

The use of electric cars in Jordan is expected to grow, and the current incentives offered by the government such as wavering of import duties and sales taxes on EVs and the parts used for their charging are strongly in favor of such growth, but there are several entities or components directly and directly connected with the fossil fuel sector in Jordan, and it is still not clear how they will react toward this electro revolution. But Jordan could be a model, or barometer, for EV and hybrid acceptance and uptake in the region.


Thaher Khalaileh is the Lab & Quality Control Section Head for Jordan Petroleum Refinery Co.

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