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Cyprus embraces EV revolution with buses and small cars from China

03:04

They are small, silent, efficient, and green. Limassol’s public transportation company, also known as EMEL, has incorporated 35 electric mini-buses into its fleet, made by Chinese bus manufacturer Kinlong.

The young firm is still developing its image and according to the company’s CEO, George Kyriakou, there is no better way to create a brand image than by going electric.

He told CGTN: “It gives credibility to your social role as public transport in the community that if you have 30 passengers in a bus, it means 30 private cars are not being used. Now the bonus is that this bus will have zero emissions and that is social responsibility.”

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With the COP28 summit underway in the UAE, the eyes of the world are on political leaders and the decisions they will make to reduce emissions and accelerate the path to net zero. Many leaders, including the Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, have stressed the need for communities and cities to embrace electrification and highlight its benefits. 

Limassol's public transportation company, also known as EMEL, has incorporated 35 electric mini-buses into its fleet, made by Chinese bus manufacturer Kinlong. /CGTN.

Limassol’s public transportation company, also known as EMEL, has incorporated 35 electric mini-buses into its fleet, made by Chinese bus manufacturer Kinlong. /CGTN.

Limassol’s public transportation company, also known as EMEL, has incorporated 35 electric mini-buses into its fleet, made by Chinese bus manufacturer Kinlong. /CGTN.

While EMEL is using mini-buses to adapt to the narrow streets in Limassol, in the Greek capital of Athens there is a similar push for electric micro-mobility, but for individuals. In the area of Keratsini, near the port of Piraeus, Nikos Zoubis’s dealership focuses exactly on that – providing micro-mobility solutions. 

In cooperation with Chinese EV manufacturer Zhidou, it offers a range of small electric vehicles designed for urban driving or areas with narrow streets, such as on the Greek islands.

“The total Santorini road network is maybe roughly 50 or 60 kilometers,” says Kyriakou. “For these vehicles, you can drive six circuits. I think micro-mobility should be the future for Greece and also for the other Europeans. That’s why we provide micro utility vehicles. Also, we provided a micro passenger car.”

It might not look like your average vehicle, but it acts like any other EV on the market. It’s silent, it charges fast, produces no emissions and there are incentives from the government to buy one. It also has lower insurance costs and no extra road taxes.

That’s why the Greek Prime Minister says he believes that these vehicles can make a difference when it comes to carbon neutrality, especially on the islands and in urban areas.

“You’ve seen some of the examples,” says Mitsotakis. “These examples are particularly important, not just because they highlight the impact that technology can have on helping these islands reach climate neutrality targets before the rest of the country. 

“They’re important because, what we have succeeded in doing is also to bring the local communities on board and help them understand that the green transition is a tremendous opportunity for them.”

While the infrastructure both in Greece and Cyprus is still developing for larger and long-range EVs electric minicar sales are taking off, primarily driven by advanced battery and short charging times. And that is making these mini cars move in the market’s fast lane.

Cyprus embraces EV revolution with buses and small cars from China

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