West Bank Engineer Converts Own Eco-Friendly Car

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A Palestinian engineer has cut down his car running costs by 90 percent. He has fitted an electric engine and solar panel on the roof of his vehicle and says it's the ideal solution for a congested West Bank.

A turn of the key and this modified Subaru silently moves away.

Issa Awawdeh has taken the car's petrol engine out and replaced it with an electric motor and a solar panel on the roof.

[Issah Awawdeh, Engineer]:
"I installed an electric engine and adapters and other impressive things. But otherwise it is a normal car and is not different from other cars."

Awawdeh says with more money he could power the vehicle exclusively with solar power but for now he charges the batteries from the mains and captures enough solar energy to run the car's electric circuits, including lights, wipers and stereo. The modifications cost around $4,000 but have reduced his running costs by nearly 90 percent.

[Issah Awawdeh, Engineer]:
"It cost me about $2.50 to drive from home to work. Now with this car, it costs me 30 cents. That means I save a lot."

Awawdeh says his car is an ideal solution for the West Bank, where congested roads and the number of checkpoints make petrol cars inefficient.

He is now looking for funding to develop a car with a top speed of 120 km per hour and a 200 km range, fuelled by 70 percent solar power.

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