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Saakashvili gives a ride in electro mobile2011-09-30 19:29
The Georgian opposition boils over a new affair of the government: at the end of last year, Vera Kobalia, head of the economy ministry, proudly informed of the plans to purchase electric vehicles for the government. As a result, an agreement with Renault plant was signed. Yet, eco-cars have not arrived in Georgia yet. This week Manana Mandzhgaladze, press secretary of the president, surprised Georgia by stating that the government has not decided on imports of several thousand electric vehicles yet.
The electric car affair began with the Georgian president's visit to Mexico. Saakashvili was amazed at an eco-car drive in company of Veronica Kobalia, economy minister and Giorgi Hachidze, minister of environment and natural resources protection. The Georgian leader was quick to state: in the near future, the car fleet of the republic will be complemented by electric cars. Thus, fuel consumption will get lower and air will be cleaner. "This is an incredible revolution: we can recharge a battery, the vehicle will be noiseless and soft. We must implement that at the level of government. Then we will set up a special highway infrastructure in order to charge batteries without problems", - Mishiko said in elation inviting common Georgians to choose a new vehicle.
Naturally, Kobalia approved of the idea. "Georgia must become a carbo-neutral country. This is a five-year strategy of the government to renew the country's car fleet", - she publicly announced. Soon it was reported on an agreement with Renault on supplies of electric vehicles to Georgia. "At the time of economic difficulties we want to be have clear understanding of a document to be signed with the company and the number of electric vehicles to be supplied", - Veronica said. - Besides, we would like to reach an agreement that part of the vehicles will be assembled in Georgia involving local work force".
Experts didn't like the idea from the start. Shalva Ogbaidze, former president of the car federation of Georgia, called purchases of electric vehicles an inefficient measure: "The government must give a reply what kind of electric vehicles will be bought, at what price and for what purpose". Having 630-650 thousand cars it is silly to hope that a couple thousand electric vehicles will change the situation. A battery charge won't be enough to go from Tbilisi to Batumi: neither will people have enough money for these cars.