[divider style=”solid” top=”25″ bottom=”25″][dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Africa Energy Indaba (AEI) is set to debut its Electric Vehicle (EV) International Conference & Expo on 9 March 2023 in Cape Town.
The conference and exhibition will assemble the entire supply chain immersed in electric vehicle manufacture and development, showcasing the latest in cutting edge technologies developed for this rapidly expanding market.
The Global EV Industry
2023 is anticipated to be a significant year for the EV industry following the European Union’s (EU) proposal in July this year to phase out diesel and petrol car sales by 2035. This is subsequently anticipated to cause an upswing in the uptake of EVs. The outcome is set to benefit African nations such as South Africa, which exports almost 64% of its manufactured vehicles to global markets.
A decade ago, only 130,000 electric cars were sold globally in contrast to the equivalent figure currently
being sold in a single week. At present, there is an estimated 16 million EVs on the roads worldwide.
Furthermore, Future Market Insights projects the electric vehicle battery market to exceed $13 billion by
An Africa Perspective
Environmentally friendly initiatives advanced by African governments over the years have increased the
adoption rate of electric passenger vehicles across the continent. Leaders are actively investing in research and development efforts to not only tackle climate change but create awareness of vehicle electrification by highlighting the positive impacts on the environment driven by a universal spike in the use of electric vehicles (EVs).
Currently, transport comprises 10% of Africa’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which is assumed to increase consistently with sub-Saharan Africa’s expanding vehicle parc. In the six countries that constitute approximately 70% of sub-Saharan Africa’s annual vehicle sales and 45% of the region’s population (South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Ethiopia, and Nigeria), owing to urbanisation and increasing incomes, the vehicle parc is anticipated to climb from today’s 25 million vehicles to an estimated 58 million by 2040.
As its vehicle parc expands, it remains critical that sub-Saharan Africa actively promotes more sustainable mobility and prevents the possibility of becoming the dumping ground for the world’s unwanted, used Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles.
New EV market entrant countries namely South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, and Egypt are establishing conditions conducive to electric mobility. According to the Kenya-based Association for Electric Mobility and Development in Africa (AEMDA), East Africa has been the focal point of the continent’s revolutionary transition to electric mobility.
Rwanda spearheads the promotion of e-mobility owing to its recent policy amendments which include reduced electricity tariffs for EVs, zero VAT tax on EV consumables, exemption from import and excise duties and rent-free land for charging stations. In addition, Kenya has accelerated the adoption rate of electric mobility and has announced that by 2025, the nation’s aim is for 5% of all newly registered vehicles to be electric.
In North Africa, Morocco has committed to achieve a 23% energy saving in the transport sector by 2030 while Egypt is currently working on a national e-mobility strategy. Egypt is planning to build 3,000 charging stations nationwide in a joint manufacturing deal between El Nasr Automotive Manufacturing Company and the Chinese Dongfeng Motor Corporation.
Additionally, while the local EV market remains small, South Africa ranks 5th globally in the ratio of public
EV chargers to vehicles. Only Korea, Chile, Mexico, Indonesia, and the Netherlands have more chargers per EV than South Africa. SDG scenarios predict that by 2050, approximately 40% of light vehicles in Africa will be electric.
With the rise in consumer consciousness, market forces that are gathering immense pace, along with the advent
of local EV companies, this projection is decidedly feasible. The Way forward Accelerating the adoption of EVs across Africa will require consistent fiscal and non-fiscal policies that will promote investment and tax incentives, improve charging infrastructure, as well as increase customer awareness of EV products and services.
As demand for minerals used for batteries and electric vehicles surges, Africa’s abundant deposits of lithium, copper, cobalt, and other minerals will render the region strategically positioned to build EVs, ultimately enabling the continent to become a key player in their manufacture.
A just transition to low-carbon transportation in Africa will necessitate the development of robust policies and solutions that support socio-economic development, sustainability, and affordability within an African context.
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