Minister inaugurates electric bus charging station pilot operation at Mowasalat

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  • The inauguration comes with the arrival of the first batch of eco-friendly electric buses
  • Mowasalat (Karwa) embarks on the next phase to transform Qatar’s public transport system to clean energy
  • Electric buses, installation of charging infrastructure, and high-quality training programs drive Mowasalat (Karwa)’s transition towards a greener, smarter and safer future
Team 24x7Qatar

Tuesday, 29th June 2021, marked a major milestone for the transportation system in Qatar, as the day saw the inauguration of the pilot operation of electric bus charging station at Mowasalat (Karwa).

Minister of Transport and Communications HE Jassim bin Saif Al-Sulaiti inaugurated the pilot operation of Mowasalat (Karwa)’s electric bus charging station, in the presence of Hassan Abdulla Al-Thawadi, Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy; Dr. Eng. Saad bin Ahmed Al-Muhannadi, President of the Public Works Authority (Ashghal) and Mowasalat (Karwa) Chairman; Eng. Essa bin Hilal Al-Kuwari, President of Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation (Kahramaa); HE Zhou Jian, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the State of Qatar, and a number of officials and representatives of private sector companies.

The inauguration comes with the arrival of the first batch of eco-friendly and quiet buses, which will be used by Mowasalat (Karwa) within its transport system. It complements the electric vehicles strategy prepared by the Ministry of Transport and Communications in collaboration with the concerned authorities, which aims to support the State’s progress towards a green future, a Press note issued by Mowasalat (Karwa) said.

Achieving economic and environmental balance ensures the sustainability of transportation infrastructure projects, as well as the development of transportation through the use of alternative and clean energy in accordance with the latest global eco-friendly systems to reduce harmful carbon emissions, providing a clean, healthy and safe environment for future generations.

These developments come as Mowasalat (Karwa), under the supervision of the Ministry of Transport and Communication, leads the way for the roll-out of electric infrastructure to cater to the public fleet requirements and the expected rise in electric vehicle demand.

On this occasion, the Minister of Transport and Communications, HE Jassim bin Saif Al-Sulaiti, said, “The test operation of the Mowasalat (Karwa) electric bus charging station represents an important step on implementing the Electric Vehicle Strategy MOTC had developed in cooperation with the bodies concerned, and which is a key part of Qatar’s public transportation plan 2030.

“Today’s launch, coincides with the arrival in Doha of the first batch of electric buses that will be serving the public transit plans for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, thus supporting the hosting of an exceptional, eco-friendly, carbon-neutral championship.”

The Minister said the Public Bus Infrastructure Program that the MoTC is currently developing in cooperation with the Public Works Authority (Ashghal), is making significant strides with relation to bus warehouses and stations, in addition to finalising the construction works of the Park and Ride parking spaces, of which two have been inaugurated in Al-Qassar and Al Wakra while the other two, in Lusail and Education City, are to open for public soon.

That Program, he noted, aims to achieve integration with public transit systems countrywide and support transportation operations during FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and beyond, let alone increasing public transit ridership over the few coming years by offering high-quality service and facilities with world best technologies and specifications that represent the identity of public transit sector of Qatar.

The Program reflects MoTC’s attention to implementing the strategy of switching to clean energy in transportation to reduce carbon emissions of conventional vehicles and improve overall air and climate quality in Qatar, HE Al-Sulaiti said.

Among key strategy objectives, he said, is supporting transit operations during FIFA 2022 to make Qatar second-to-none worldwide in using electric, eco-friendly vehicles during a FIFA championship, alongside the integration with other public transit systems”.

Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, Hassan Abdulla Al-Thawadi stressed the importance of inaugurating the electric bus charging station, congratulating the Ministry of Transport and Communications and Mowasalat on achieving this milestone within Qatar’s commitment to use clean energy, hosting a carbon neutral edition of the World Cup 2022, and to contribute towards the goals of Qatar National Vision 2030.

Al-Thawadi added: “The commitment to organise a carbon-free tournament was one of the main pillars of Qatar’s bid to host the World Cup 2022, and this goal remains our top priority in the tournament operations. Mowasalat (Karwa) will help us achieve this vision by contributing to the organization of the tournament through transporting fans across the State during competitions, including the World Cup stadiums, fan zones, and tourist sightseeing throughout Qatar, while sustaining the environment by relying on clean energy sources.”

In a related context, Dr. Eng. Saad bin Ahmed Al-Muhannadi, President of the Public Works Authority (Ashghal), and Mowasalat (Karwa) Chairman said, “Ashghal has built various electrical charging points inside and outside Doha, providing all electrical utilities and necessary infrastructure to connect chargers with transformers and various power stations.

Lusail Station

“The largest electric charging station of the region being constructed in Lusail City operates on solar energy and it is connected with all stations. High-efficiency solar cell shades will be built as the source of solar energy, one important source of renewable energy that provides clean energy.”

And on this occasion, the President of Ashghal asserted, “Ashghal has provided necessary infrastructure for charging of electric buses and installed different types of charging devices including double gun chargers and single chargers to facilitate charging buses from either sides, as well as pantographs to charge from topside, with provision of special chambers for feeder transformers. The project is executed by a local firm as part of the State’s endeavor to support the local private sector.”

Eng. Essa bin Hilal Al-Kuwari, President of Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation (Kahramaa), said, “Today we are pleased to inaugurate a new electric bus charging station as part of the State’s strategy to deploy and promote electric vehicles and their infrastructure.

“This is part of a major tender that Kahramaa has contributed to its preparation and providing the necessary technical support to the Ministry of Transport and Communications and the Public Works Authority with regard to the required specifications for the stations and the necessary electrical load and all approved connections.

“Kahramaa also provided the necessary specifications for the solar panels, which will be implemented at Lusail electric bus station.

“We have previously collaborated with the Ministry of Transport and Communications and Mowasalat (Karwa) to launch two electric bus charging stations, one with fast charging and the other overnight charging, as active models for operating the first two electric buses in Qatar in 2019.

“We are now working together to complete the infrastructure of Qatar’s electric charging station network by implementing 100 charging stations by the end of 2021 and another 100 in 2022 in vital and public places in the State.”

On this auspicious occasion, Fahad Saad Al-Qahtani, Mowasalat (Karwa) CEO, said, “Honoured by the presence of HE the Minister of Transport and Communications, and HE the President of Ashghal, as well as a number of State officials and representatives of private sector companies, we have today reached a milestone in our efforts to assist with Qatar’s 2030 vision of a sustainable public transport network. We are proud to take part in this endeavour that has been planned carefully over the past years to ensure reliable, emission-free journeys for our customers. Our close collaboration with Ashghal ensures a comprehensive coverage of charging stations all over the State, which sets new standards in public transportation worldwide.”

Fahad Saad Al-Qahtani added, “In parallel to the implementation of the latest smart fleet technology, we have also thoroughly trained our team of drivers, engineers, data analysts, and maintenance staff to create a seamlessly efficient travel experience for our passengers.”

The new electrical bus fleet will first be used at major international events during this year and next year, and from 2023 for public and school transport as well as corporate transport contracts.

Plans are in place for Mowasalat (Karwa) to also replace the conventional “Karwa Taxis” with electric vehicles in the future, but this project is still in its infancy.

The electric buses are fully customized to handle the demands of street and weather conditions in Qatar and are equipped with a 350 kWh Lithium-ion battery, the latest and safest proven battery technology in the automotive industry, with an average reach of more than 200km per full charge. Strict compliance with the most comprehensive safety standards and a local inspection process ensure that the technical and operational aspects are following all of Qatar’s regulations.

Mowasalat (Karwa) invests heavily to reduce carbon emissions from its conventional fleet, improving the quality of Qatar’s climate and supporting Qatar’s transition away from a hydrocarbon-based economy towards a greener future.

[Pics courtesy Mowasalat (Karwa)]

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