GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories, Sept 15, 2012 (AFP) -- The boxy little white and blue vehicle draws plenty of curious stares as it chugs down the street. But this is no golf cart -- it's Gaza's first hand-built electric car.
It is the latest creation of Munther al-Qassas, a 32-year-old taxi driver from Gaza City who was looking for a novel way to get around as the tiny Palestinian enclave goes through its worst fuel crisis yet.
"I thought about making a car which would suit our circumstances in Gaza, especially with the fuel crisis that forces people to stand in line for hours outside petrol stations or pay a huge amount of money" on the black market, he told AFP.
Not only is it environmentally sound but the tiny white vehicle, which has no doors and can carry two passengers at the back, has been entirely crafted out of recycled materials.
Qassas says it took him several months to build the car in a workshop on the roof of his home where he collects old electronic gadgets.
With a frame made entirely out of wood and with tyres taken off an old wheelbarrow, the little vehicle is hardly a speed demon -- managing just 20 kilometres an hour (12 mph) at full throttle.
Contrasting with its white exterior, it has a pale blue roof and similar-coloured interior, and a recycled piece of gym kit for a steering wheel.
All in, it cost him $1,000 (less than 800 euros) to build -- a small fortune in the impoverished Gaza Strip and huge financial burden for a taxi driver who holds a degree in political science which he has never used.
"My financial situation is a real obstacle to my dreams," he said.
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