Gaza: Monzer Al Qasas, an average taxi driver for more than 15 years and a resident in the city of Gaza has created with his own ingenuity the first hand-made electric car in the Gaza strip.
As a result of the need of people living in the impoverished Gaza Strip and a display of patriotism, the Palestinian taxi driver selected different pieces from other vehicles such as electric cables and metal scraps, as well as a battery of small dimensions which he proudly attached on the back of the car.
“The reason that led me to build this electric car is the severe lack of fuel we suffer from in the Gaza Strip. Sometimes, the crisis may cool down, but at other times, it gets even more difficult. That’s when I thought of another way rather than depending on fuel.” Monzer said.
The Gaza strip has been facing a fuel crisis for over six months, and the crisis is getting worse since Egypt closed the tunnels after the terrorist attack which led to the death of 16 Egyptian soldiers in northern Sinai.
“I thought about building an electric cab that did not require gasoline and at the same time is environmentally friendly which doesn’t produce smoke or make noise,” said Al Qasas, in enumerating the advantages of his invention.
Despite the energy crisis the Gaza strip faces, alternative power resources aren’t popular there for it is far too expensive and unavailable as well.
The result, this sort of golf cart which has space for four passengers including the driver and can carry up to 200 kilos is followed by stares on the surprised faces of Gazans as it passes by in the streets.
Hamza Al Khateb, a public relations officer from the transportation ministry in Gaza said: “We are happy that Al Qasas managed to develop a car that can work without fuel; hopefully we can use it in bigger numbers to cover the markets needs in the future.”
The mini car, which is made of plastic, rubber and iron and has an actual battery, has been built [by Monzer] on his own, he says, without any financial assistance, prior knowledge or government financial support.
This small vehicle cost Monzer around $800 (Dh2,938) and he spent around 70 hours building it according to his estimation.
Despite the fact that Monzer managed to overcome the fuel crisis by building the electric car, Gaza is still facing a huge electricity crisis with black-outs lasting around eight to 10 hours a day.
As a result, Monzer has another project in mind to develop yet another model of the electric car that works with solar energy and includes doors and a fixed roof. He believes that the new developed vehicle can serve the community and be used as a commercial car or an ambulance.
The electric car is not the only invention of this innovative subject. In the past, Monzer has developed a prototype to help the disabled and paralysed, similar to a TV remote control that is activated using the head.
His brother Ammar Al Qasas said: “My brother has always fascinated us with his inventions. We as his family support him although he unfortunately doesn’t find any support from the government or officials to support him in his inventions.”