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Oman to make Mideast's 1st electric car

June 12, 2010 at 9:08 PM

MUSCAT, Oman, June 12 (UPI) -- The Middle East, sitting atop the world's greatest oil reserves, is going to start making its first electric-powered car, a company executive in Oman says.

The Times of Oman reported Saturday Sultan bin Hamad al-Amri, chief executive office of Noor Majan, recently told an Arabic daily in Oman the car will be designed to go from zero to 60 mph in about 4 seconds, roll for 2,250 miles on a single electrical charge and go for 21 years without any maintenance. The price tag will be between $70,000 and $91,000, he said.

"The parts of the car, including the 800-horsepower engine, are manufactured in Japan, America, Germany and Hong Kong," he said.

He says the car will have a solar-powered air conditioner and be fitted with massage chairs.

The company plans to turn out about 120 cars a year in a plant it proposes to open in Barka, Oman, the Times said.

Al-Amri said the idea for the car occurred to him in 2008 during a trip to London where he saw an Indian-manufactured electric car called the Reva.

"I felt we could manufacture the car with altered specifications, design and style," al-Amri said.

He said he lined up engineers and spent a year doing a feasibility study before approaching the Oman government for permission to go ahead.

"We have already got preliminary approvals from the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs," he said, adding they will be tested in Florida to qualify for an international quality certificate.

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