Day 245 | Monday November 14
With professor Afshar I went to the R&D department of Saipa. Saipa is Iran’s biggest car manufacturer. A representative came to the presentation yesterday and invited me to come over. They gave a presentation about the brand and their plans to produce their own electric car. The car will be an existing model which they would convert to electric. Some specs: 20 kWh battery, 150km range, topspeed 140 km/h. I was given a tour e around their facility which they call ERIC. They have areas were they simulate different environments, acceleration tests, quality control and more.
It was an interesting visit and great to see that there are companies who want to bring electric cars to Iranian customers.
In the afternoon I had a special meeting, I was invited by the deputy of the Iranian Minister of Environment. He heard about my visit to Iran and contacted me via via, interesting how things are arranged here. The meeting was at NRI (Niroo Research Institute). NRI has played a leading role in developing new technologies for the Electric Power Industry and is the major research organization affiliated to the Ministry of Energy of Iran. There were a lot of very interested professors, researchers and delegates who came to have a look at the car. Because I found out they are doing a lot of interesting things regarding to renewable energy I asked them if I could come back tomorrow for some interviews.
Than we headed back to the office and from there we went to the office of Autoworld, who published an article about me in their newspaper today. The owner wanted to meet me and we had some talks about the project. Every Iranian who I speak to wants to know how I experience the people in the country. Apparently they find it very important that the people here are friendly and welcoming, which is definitely so.
After the meeting the guys from Asbebokhar picked me up and they took me to the Milad towner. The world’s 4th biggest broadcasting tower. It’s 400 something meters tall and it has stores, restaurants and a museum. Unfortunately it was not possible to go to the top today as the level of pollution was to high. Instead we went to a pizza restaurant for dinner and after they brought me home.
Today was a crazy hectic day. Especially here in Tehran as the traffic is so busy and crazy and it exhausts me a lot. Im staying at Ali’s place at the moment who still takes care of me like a hero.