Lebanon’s first car is a sporty 100mph EV
- The Quds Rise is the first car to be wholly manufactured in Lebanon
- Electric vehicle set to launch despite worsening economic crisis
- 10,000 models expected to be produced
The first ever car made in Lebanon has been revealed; a 100mph EV named the Quds Rise.
The two seater sports car is manufactured by EV Electra, titled using the Arabic name of Jerusalem, and is the project of Lebanese-born Palestinian businessman Jihad Mohammad.
Despite being in the midst of a vast economic crisis, with the country struggling with frequent power cuts among other issues, up to 10,000 vehicles are expected to be built with production starting later this year in Lebanon.
The Rise is expected to cost around $30,000 and is touted to hit the market in a year’s time.
A red prototype was unveiled this weekend at a parking lot south of Beirut, with Mohammad proud to talk up the car’s local roots. The model features a golden logo at the front featuring the Dome of the Rock, a shrine in Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, Islam’s third holiest site.
EV Electra was set up four years ago, following Mohammad’s long stint abroad, and employs Lebanese and Palestinian engineers among his 300 staff. Long-term, he is aiming to compete on the international market for hybrid and electric cars, and make sales in Lebanon.
The car will be powered by a 50 KWH lithium ION battery generating 160 horsepower through the rear wheel drive. Weight is expected to be around the 1100kg mark, with fiberglass body panels bolted onto a light aluminium chassis. Butterfly doors will ensure the Rise has plenty of character, with swooping bodywork and comparatively large headlights adding to the distinctive look.
A regenerative braking system will also feature, with 18 inch forged aluminium wheels in jet black, with gold plated details.
The standout interior feature is a massive 15.9 inch touch screen, filling almost all the centre console. Various colour trims will be on offer.
A 450km (279 mile) range is anticipated, with top speeds of 165km/h and 100km/h attainable in five seconds.
The news comes as a minor boost to Lebanon’s escalating economic crisis, and imported car sales are at a record low due to capital controls and drastic devaluation on the black market. Just 62 new cars were sold in the country in the first two months of 2021, 97 per-cent lower than the same period last year.
The country relies heavily on fossil fuels for power generation, but power cuts are a daily occurrence and half the population now live in poverty.
Mohammad has pledged to install around 100 recharging stations around the state, powered by generators, though he hopes that these could be fuelled by solar and wind power in the future.
The businessman will also offer the Lebanese population the chance to pay for half the car’s value in dollars, with the rest paid in Lebanese pounds at an exchange rate better than the black market one, and payable over five years without interest.
Other pledges promised by the brand include the planting of 10 trees per customer. A statement on the company website reads:
Starting as a division of Jihad Mohammad Investments, a company involved in supporting the sustainable greener planet agenda, Electra became a company on its own, gathering a number of believers under one roof, with one goal.
We have always been involved in taking care of the environment, which provided us with another avenue to build our vision.
While studying the market of electric vehicles, we noticed that the cars were either too expensive or not appealing to the wider customer base. We decided to build an electric vehicle that will rank as a supercar in its market and make it financially accessible to a wider client base.
Reducing the ICE cars by 1% in the world today might not revive the environment. However, building a car that could facilitate as much as 40% change will definitely make a huge impact on the long run.
So drive with us and we will plant 10 trees in your name. Together we will participate in having cleaner environment for the future generations to enjoy.
Richard Randle is a motorsport PR professional working with the UK’s top racing circuits and the UK’s premier single-seater category, the BRDC British F3 Championship.