60,000sqm Suwaiq factory to produce 1,248 cars annually
Muscat – An idea of an electric car that emerged in 1987, and transformed into a working prototype in 2009, may finally see the light of day and be on roads as early as 2025.
Sultan bin Hamad al Amri, Chairman of Nur Majan Automobile Company, who has persistently pursued his dream of manufacturing the first electric vehicle (EV) in the region despite many challenges over the past decades, has entered a joint venture with a Canadian automotive manufacturer Trouvé Victory Inc to produce electric as well as hydrogen fuel cars.
Nur Majan’s working prototype of the gull-wing sports EV model was licensed by Omani authorities in 2015 and plans were in place to start production in 2018 at a 60,000sqm factory in Suwaiq. But floods that year delayed setting up the factory.
Speaking to Muscat Daily Amri said, “Our dreams are coming true. We will start producing electric cars in 2025, with an annual capacity of 1,248 cars. We have signed a contract with Trouvé Victory to fund the development of our factory and to produce the ‘Sultanah’ electric car in Oman.”
Elaborating on the name, Amri informed that a ship named Sultanah took Ahmed al Numan al Kaabi to America in 1840. “He was the first Arab emissary to visit the United States. He was sent by the Sultan of Oman, Sayyid Said bin Sultan, and he set sail from Zanzibar in the newly built ship to New York for trade between the two countries.”
Amri informed that construction work of the factory will be completed in 2024 and production will begin at the end of 2025.
“The fast lean-green-Omani-machine will drive 600km on a single charge, with very little or no maintenance required up to 21 years,” he claimed.
Powered by an 85W Lithium-ion battery, it will be equipped with a device to recharge automatically after the battery is drained. “The body is made of carbon fibre composite, which is ten times stronger than steel but five times lighter, giving the EV longer driving range on a single charge.”
Of the hiccups that have delayed the project, Amri said production was set to begin in 2018, but the factory was flooded following heavy rains. “We found that the site was along a wadi. More than RO1mn was invested to fill in earth and raise the land by 2m.”
Amri is confident his dream will become a reality soon. “The factory employees 12 Omani and Arab engineers who will be engaged in production in the first phase of the project, besides exchanging expertise with the Canadian side. I have made more than 130 trips around the world to learn and gain insights into the EV industry.”
Amri thanked H E Qais al Yousef, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion, for visiting the factory in 2021 to lend support to the project.
“I urge everyone to support Omani youth to achieve their dreams,” said Amri.
Trouvé Victory and Nur Majan plan to produce four EV models – sports, pickup trucks, sedans and SUVs. Hydrogen powered cars will be marketed in Canada and the United States, while electric cars are planned for the Middle East market.