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World Bank Will Assist Electric Buses Deployment In Greater Cairo Area

Dr. Amal Khashab's picture
Expert Independent Consultant ,Electric Power Systems Engineering, Free lancer

Summary Full Academic Qualification by obtaining B.Sc. (1971), M.Sc. (1980) and Ph.D. (1991) of Electric Power Engineering. Active continuous education by participating in long periods of...

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  • Oct 6, 2020

World Bank Will Assist Electric Buses Deployment In Greater Cairo Area



The World Health Organization (WHO) lists air quality as the greatest environmental risk to health at a global level and estimates that outdoor air pollution exposure is responsible for almost 7 million deaths every year. Urban areas are disproportionately contributing to global transport emissions. Growing global urban populations and their high population densities result in a significant share of total passenger journeys and goods deliveries. Therefore, a substantial positive environmental impact can be made by decarbonizing urban transport emissions globally.

Mega-cities around the world face different challenges depending on if they are located in highly industrialized or less developed countries. Regardless of their location and development status, cities can learn from each other. The progressing electrification of transport creates a strong nexus between the energy and transport sectors. This interaction is both a challenge and an opportunity, creating new business models, new market participants, and different technical solutions transforming both sectors and their respective industries. Successful electrification of transport will depend on the ability of the electric system to support the energy transition.


Egypt’s Plan to Shift to Electric Buses

- The recent plan to shift to electric buses was thoroughly discussed during the sessions of the first international conference held in Cairo under the name of Sustainable Transport in Egypt (STE 2018), Cleaner Mobility and the Advent of Electric Vehicles. The event co-organized by Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), a German foundation that promotes social democracy, the Egyptian Ministry of Environment and the Center for Environment and Development for the Arab region and Europe (CEDARE).

- It has been thought that electric mobility deployment, especially in public transportation, can be a cure to Egypt’s pollution problem as it is a very good way for reducing CO2 emissions in the future.

- As a result, On January 24, 2018, Egypt's Alexandria Passenger Transport Bureau (APTB) and China's BYD Company signed an order for 15 units of K9 pure electric buses, which was the first electric bus order from Egypt. The capacity of this electric bus is 90 passengers while cars normally take from one to five passengers. This means that one bus can replace dozens of cars and thus help reduce traffic and pollution at the same time.

- Huang Zhixue, the BYD's general manager of auto sales division in the Middle East and Africa revealed that the 15 electric buses are only preliminary pilot operations, and more vehicles will be released after passing the market test. BYD's outlook in Egypt is to realize bus electrification in Egypt through bringing in the electric buses, electric taxi and "cloud rail" products, and hopes to solve the problem of local traffic congestion and pollution, boosting the local application and sustainable development of new energy transportation.

- By the end of 2018, the first electric bus has arrived in the port of Alexandria coming from the port of Shanghai, China, as part of a supply contract that includes 15 electric buses. The new bus went

through three-month trial to ensure the highest performance under the local weather conditions in Egypt. Upon trial's results acceptance, the 14 other buses which were agreed upon made their way to Egypt.

- In April 2019, Egypt signed an agreement with China’s Foton Motor Company when a delegation of ministers accompanied President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to China. The two sides agreed to transfer the technology for manufacturing electric buses to Egypt, and 2,000 buses will be manufactured in an Egyptian factory over four years, with a local manufacturing rate of up to 45 percent.

World Bank’s New Project to Support the Improvement of Greater Cairo Air Quality

- On September 30, 2020 the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a US$200 million project to support Egypt’s initiatives to reduce air and climate pollution from critical sectors and to increase resilience to air pollution in Greater Cairo. The project will focus on reducing vehicle emissions, improving the management of solid waste, and strengthening the air and climate decision-making system.

- Greater Cairo’s air quality has recently seen an improvement; however, ambient air pollution remains the city’s most significant environmental health issue—one that weighs heavily on residents’ quality of life and on the economy. Recent studies have estimated the annual economic cost of air pollution on health in the Greater Cairo area alone at about 1.4% of Egypt’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

-The six-year project aims to support Egypt’s efforts to reduce both air pollution and climate pollutant emissions in line with the country’s Sustainable Development Strategy: Egypt Vision 2030. The project will contribute toward Egypt’s key environmental goal of halving Particulate Matter pollution and toward developing and implementing a strong, economically feasible climate impact mitigation program that would meet Egypt’s 2030 targets for reduced emissions.

World Bank Vehicle Emission Reduction Component

- The project will finance e- buses design , design of the retrofit in chosen buses depositories, and procurement of e-buses as well as technical study to select the final set of routes where the buses will be deployed.

- The regulatory framework of electric vehicle in Egypt is not yet developed. Therefore, it will need coordination between several ministries such as Environment, Electricity & Renewable Energy, Interior, Finance &Customer Authority, Trade&Industry, Housing and Transport.

Baseline Setting

(A) Roads and mobility Infrastructure:

- World Bank reported that the modal share of 22 million daily motorized trips in GCA is around 63% public transport and 37% cars, taxis and motorbikes.

-The road transport sector contributes about 15% of the total GHG emission in Egypt. World Bank reported that 40% of them are due to Greater Cairo Aria (GCA) region alone. In GCA, Public buses are responsible for a third of the air pollution from suspended particulate matter(PM10) , 90% for CO and 50% for NOx.

(B) Battery Alternatives

- The most common battery types are Lithium Ion (Li-Ion), Molten Salt (Na-NiCl2), Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) and Lithium Sulphur (Li-S). Select of the most appropriate battery type depends on several factors consisting of energy usage efficiency, constructive characteristics, operating temperature of the battery, charging system, cost, safety and useful life.

- Preliminary selection criteria based on significance and risk level and corresponding mitigation measures has to be developed for choosing the most appropriate battery type.

-The proposed selection criteria may, but not limited to, include: Distance to be covered by the electric bus route, Distance covered by the battery per single full charge, Battery charging system, Battery operating temperature , Battery life cycle, Safety and Investment and operating cost .


(C) Charging Infrastructure and Their Locations

- Choosing the appropriate location for charging stations can facilitate their construction, and reduce operation cost.

- Selection criteria for the charging equipment and infrastructure needed may consist of land requirements , technology and operation requirements, power grid capacity and security, construction and operation costs, environment , health and safety.

- Preliminary criteria for assessment of potential locations consists of land availability and requirements, charging demand, climatic conditions , soil and sub-soil conditions , environment , health and safety, and traffic convenience.



1- Prototype Project: Electric Buses in Alexandria City, Egypt. Does Egypt have surplus electricity to spend in commuting services? Published on February 8, 2018.

2- Dream and Reality of Electric Buses Deployment in Egypt, Published November 11, 2018.

3-Thoughts for Electric Vehicles in Egypt, Published on December 23, 2018.

4- Lessons to Be Learned For E-Buses Applications in Mega-cities, Published Mar 9, 2020.














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