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EghtesadOnline: Major local carmaker Iran Khodro (IKCO), in collaboration with Iran Taxi Union, is replacing 40,000 dilapidated taxis with CNG-hybrid vehicles with Euro 4 and Euro 5 standards.

A joint initiative of Iran Taxi Union and IKCO, the scheme is aimed at curbing the worrying air pollution in Iranian metropolises: Tehran, Mashhad, Hamedan and Isfahan, while reducing gasoline consumption, IRNA reported.

Morteza Zameni, the head of ITU, said the scheme features two IKCO sedan models, namely Samand EF7 and Peugeot 405.

Zameni noted that the ultimate goal is to replace 10,000 old taxis by the current Iranian yearend (March 2021). 

“The sustainability of efforts strongly depends on vehicle prices, state loans and the automaker’s output,” he said.

According to the head of ITU, 192,000 dilapidated vehicles are operating in the country’s big cities.

“The whole renewal process takes applicants less than a month. Owners of dilapidated taxis file an application with Iran Taxi Union. After identity verification, drivers are required to make a down payment. The invoice and license plate number of the new vehicle are issued, and applicants are asked to complete their payments based on the price of the selected car model,” he said. 

Zameni noted that new cars will be ready for delivery 48 hours after the drivers dispatch their old vehicles to scrapyards.

Announcing that over 2,200 taxi drivers have so far submitted applications, the official said municipalities of the targeted cities will pay them 500 million rials ($1,785) in loans to help the cabbies.



CNG Conversion

To streamline the public transport system, the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company is planning to convert 37,000 private cars in Tehran, operating as taxis, into CNG-hybrids.

According to Hamid Qasemi, the head of NIORDC’s CNG Department, the scheme is to be implemented soon with the government’s subsidy.

“The total cost of converting gasoline-powered cars into CNG-hybrid is around 120 million rials [$428.5], of which 90 million rials [$321.4] will be provided by the government and applicants are only required to pay one-fourth of the cost,” he added.

Qasemi emphasized that the scheme only covers private vehicles operating as taxis, which have high fuel consumption. 

“The Interior Ministry and Tehran Taxi Organization have a complete list of private cars certified for public transport activity,” he said.

To apply for the scheme, owners of private taxis go through an eligibility check by the relevant authorities. Then they are required to register with the ministry’s website, make their share of payment and wait in the conversion queue.

The website is preparing the page for registration and the URL will be communicated later via the press.

Qasemi noted that NIORDC is also ready to run the same plan for 200,000 school services and online ride-hailing cars around the country.

The scheme is part of a larger plane run in late May by NIORDC for the conversion of 1.4 million gasoline-powered public vehicles into CNG-hybrids in a phased manner.

The plan is currently underway nationwide, offering conversion services to drivers of taxis and public vehicles in the first phase.

Based on the latest data released by the plan’s organizers, over 20,700 public transport vehicles have so far undergone the conversion process.

Based on the data, 128,000 car owners have applied for the conversion and the eligibility of 46,500 has been confirmed. Officials expect around 700,000 applications in the first phase of the scheme. 

Qasemi earlier said, “The plan is expected to conclude in 14 months, curb gasoline consumption by 12 million liters and add the same amount to the CNG consumption rate.”

He noted that the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade has set up over 400 conversion centers in 25 provincial centers to help implement the scheme. He called on car owners to only visit authorized centers for a guaranteed and standardized result. 

“The scheme is estimated to require a budget of $570 million, which is being supplied through savings made from the reduction of gasoline consumption by raising fuel price and setting a quota. Two local banks are helping NIORDC accomplish the task,” he said. 

“The current domestic capacity of CNG tank production is over 700,000 per annum,” he said.

Qasemi stressed that by maximizing local capacity for the production of CNG tanks, the figure will reach 900,000 and the scheme will most probably be implemented as scheduled.


Iran Khodro CNG Carmaker