Lebanon is planning to exempt hybrid cars from import tariffs as a way to make the country more “green”:

The 2010 draft budget will include an item that will exempt companies and individuals from paying any import tariffs on hybrid cars. Finance Minister Raya Hafar Hassan and Environment Minister Mohammad Rahal made this joint announcement after a meeting on Friday.

[Please ignore the fact that we are at the end of Q1 and the government is still working on a draft budget for the year.]

Very original plan. Though I am still wary of hybrid cars; they are very complicated pieces of machinert and electronics, and, with our infamous road infrastructure and undependable mechanics, there’s no doubt that they’ll be a few loose wires. Also, a number of hybird cars have a slower acceleration than their counterparts. Could you imagine driving up the Mkalles or on the way to the Cedars with a hybrid in front of you?

On a side note, the Ministry of Finance is celebrating April Fool’s Day 96 hours early:

“It is true that we get lot of money from tariffs on imported cars but the health of the citizen is more important,” […] minister [Hassan] said.

Toyota Prius on the Streets of Beirut?

Toyota Prius on the Streets of Beirut?