Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Iran's Oil Woes; An Arab Electric Car?

Today the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) reports "Soaring Energy Use Puts Oil Squeeze on Iran."
Iran may start rationing gasoline as soon as next month, and its oil exports could dry up in as little as a decade. The stagnation of Iran's oil industry presents a potential crisis for the country and the global oil market.
Iran is one of the countries earning tons of cash on its oil exports, but its burgeoning population is using an increasing share of the nation's oil production. What it uses it can't sell. As we all know, Iran is investing in nuclear power to provide a larger chunk of its future energy requirements. I'd rather see attempts to harvest mideast sun, but there ain't no solar bomb, so geopolitics dictates their energy direction. Nuclear or solar, if Iranians won't consider electricty for cars, perhaps neighboring Arab states will.

A report out of tiny Abu Dhabi suggests some of the oil rich may be looking considering alternatives to oil for cars.
Khalid Abdullah Al Bu Ainnain, Chairman of Baynuna, told Gulf News in an interview that the group has signed a deal with a French company to export 10,000 electric cars.

"We are cooperating with the giant French group Dassault to produce an electric car which can operate on clean power with a speed of 160 km/h," he said.
Dassault has been dabbling in EVs for years via its Société de Véhicules Electriques. Prototypes are built and press releases appear every so often, but that's it. According to their website, "S.V.E....plans to put a vehicle on the market in 2007." That's clearly not happening.

But could a most unlikely alliance with Arabic enterprise result in actual electric cars being produced?