Karim Khayat: MEP Electric Vehicles

In addition to serving as CEO of Seeds Education, a group of companies operating predominantly in publishing, printing and education, Karim Khayat is also the founder of Middle East Power, an energy provider company that achieves best results in terms of operating and maintaining the grid and installing a new generation of wireless smart meters in Beirut and Kurdistan-Iraq.

Having studied at the American University of Beirut and Harvard Business School, Karim Tahsin Khayat is a business leader focused on achieving and implementing best practices, maintaining the companies he is involved with in the most efficient and effective manner possible while broadening operational services and reach.

With a keen focus on sustainability, Middle East Power supports a new generation of cleaner, greener transportation, fuelling electric cars. This article will look at the electric vehicle market, a sector that has experienced considerable growth in recent months in spite of economic uncertainties in the wider car market triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to IEA’s Global EV Outlook 2021 report, over 10 million electric cars were on the world’s roads by 2020. This represented a staggering 43% increase on the previous year, with battery electric vehicles accounting for two-thirds of new electric car registrations.

The report details how the COVID-19 pandemic had a devastating impact on numerous industries, including the car market. In early 2020, total new car registrations dropped by approximately one-third compared with the previous year. Nevertheless, although conventional and overall new car registrations fell, global electric car sales rose by an impressive 70%. Electronic car registrations increased in major markets throughout 2020, particularly Norway, the Netherlands, Germany, France and the UK. In fact, 2020 was a record year in the electric car market, with Europe overtaking China as the country with the largest annual increase.

The surge in electric car sales throughout Europe in spite of economic uncertainty created by COVID-19 reflected two policy measures. Firstly, many EU governments increased subsidy schemes for electric vehicles as part of stimulus packages to counter the economic impact of the pandemic. Secondly, 2020 was the target year for the EU’s CO2 emissions standards, limiting average emissions per kilometre for new cars.

IEA’s Global EV Outlook 2021 report cited electric vehicles as playing an indispensable role in reaching net-zero emissions globally. The report predicts that by 2030, there will be more than 230 million electric vehicles on the world’s roads, including 3.6 million electric buses and 1.8 million electric trucks, with ‘passenger light-duty vehicles’ accounting for the lion’s share of the market at almost 140 million vehicles.

Bowing to the ever-increasing weight of decarbonisation challenges, governments all over the world are incentivising electric vehicle development and sales. Electric cars are just one component in a rapidly developing electric transport market, with interest in electric micromobility options rapidly increasing since their emergence. In the US alone, the sale of electric-assisted bicycles more than doubled in 2020. At the same time, the EU also witnessed the emergence of e-scooters, which, according to the Global EV Outlook 2021 report, have been adopted by more than 100 European cities.

According to a global market overview published by Virta Global, Electric buses also grew in popularity throughout 2020, as did electric heavy-duty trucks, with many truck manufacturers striving for an all-electric future.

As a pioneer of the waste-to-energy sector in Lebanon and Iraq, Middle East Power is committed to sustainability. In addition to its work supporting green transportation, Middle East Power operates a photovoltaic hybrid power plant in Lebanon, supplying, installing, operating and maintaining its PV generator, invertors, fuel saving device, data loggers and ancillary equipment.

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