Electrifying Jordan's Transport Sector

  With support from the USAID Jordan Competitiveness Program, the country's first solar-enabled electric vehicle charging station was installed at the King Hussein Business Park in Amman.

With support from the USAID Jordan Competitiveness Program, the country's first solar-enabled electric vehicle charging station was installed at the King Hussein Business Park in Amman.

With no petroleum production and an economy that is struggling with the consequences of regional conflict, Jordan has clear reasons to embrace green technology. With 330 days of sunshine per year, Jordan’s policymakers have long understood the value proposition of solar energy. From urban rooftops to hospitals and schools, photovoltaic panels are already powering individual residences and institutions throughout the capital of Amman and beyond. That kind of piecemeal reliance on sunshine, however, is not enough to revolutionize an entire economy. To do that, especially in a country short on public transportation, policymakers needed to find a new, greener way to keep its population mobile. Enter JCP's electric vehicle work.


To build a new EV industry from the ground up, JCP had to pave the way for massive private-sector investment, drafting regulations that would create a more enabling business environment. In 2014, Jordan’s Energy and Minerals Regulatory Commission (EMRC) asked JCP to develop the regulations, taking into account international best practices and Jordan’s unique context. Released in May 2016 by EMRC, these regulations—the first of their kind for Jordan and the region—emerged from a critical moment in the program’s third year, when a JCP-organized one-day workshop brought together, for the first time, all of the key stakeholders in the new industry to reach consensus on concrete recommendations involving the EMRC, the Ministry of Environment, the Customs Directorate, the Drivers and Vehicle Licensing Department, as well as car dealers and technology providers. 

The combined impact of this JCP intervention has been to create an entirely new industry in the country, one with both environmental and economic benefits. In fact, data from the Drivers and Vehicles Licensing Department shows that, since JCP's intervention began in 2014, the number of electric vehicles on Jordan’s roads has roughly tripled each year—from 73 three years ago to nearly 5,000 in 2017. By 2020, that number is expected to grow to more than 50,000, marking a nearly 700x return on USAID’s investment.

VIDEO: Electric Vehicles, Mobilizing Jordan’s Green Economy to Create a Transportation Revolution

The USAID Jordan Competitiveness Program's (JCP) work supporting the electric vehicle industry modeled a “vertically integrated” approach to development, removing obstacles at all levels of the economy. From drafting and helping pass the regulation needed to capture and sell solar-generated electricity at charging stations, to negotiating the partnerships that enabled private-sector investment in those stations, USAID JCP has helped Jordan go from a country with no electric vehicles to a market that now includes Tesla, Nissan, BMW, Mercedes, among others.

The Journey to eMobility: How USAID Developed the EV Industry in Jordan

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'Developments' Magazine Highlights JCP Work in Renewable Energy 


A feature article published in DAI's online magazine, Developments, showcases how JCP has helped grow the Kingdom's Renewable Energy (RE) sector. Citing a recent report that placed Jordan third among 71 countries ranked for their RE growth, the article traces this remarkable achievement to a series of USAID-supported interventions that have provided the enabling legal framework and financial incentives to boost investment in this lucrative sector. From wheeling and pooling regulations aimed at fostering solar-enabled energy production and storage, to a tax regime making it easier to import and maintain electric vehicles, to instructions governing those vehicles' charging stations, JCP has been at the leading edge of these reforms. All told, the JCP team has helped mobilize $3.2 million in private sector and government spending for solar panels and associated needs such as metering, according to data cited in the article. The program has also assisted 18 factories with detailed energy audits, which produced the information required to finance energy efficiency upgrades.    

Read the full article here.