The head of Tehran City Council’s Civil Service Commission and Environmental Health says removing all aging motor vehicles and exchanging gas-powered motorcycles for electrical ones is the immediate solution to the air pollution crisis in the capital.

Rahmatollah Hafezi says raising the standard of fuel is not an effective way of reducing pollution in Tehran so long as aging motor vehicles remain on the roads, because they will continue to produce high levels of air pollutants.

Taxis with technology that’s more than three decades old make up a large proportion of transportation vehicles in Iran.

The Mehr News Agency reports that Hafezi said on Wednesday January 21 that powering all motorcycles with electricity would reduce Tehran pollution by 25 percent within a year.

Studies in Iran have shown that motor vehicles account for 60 to 70 percent of air pollution in cities, and more detailed studies have verified that motorcycles create seven to eight times more pollution than cars. Thirty percent of Iran’s megacity pollution is caused by gasoline-burning motorcycles.

Hafezi called for government action in removing aging cars from city roads and offering more modern cars which, coupled with higher-quality fuel, would have a significant impact on reducing air pollution.

He added that City Bank has been instructed to provide interest-free loans to the public for replacing their gas-burning motorcycles with electric ones.