Stellantis, the global auto giant formed out of the merger between the PSA Peugeot Citroën Group and Fiat Chrysler, is to spend around $35-billion to build a factory in Cairo for the manufacture and export of electric vehicles by 2025, while Ashok Leyland from India is also looking to Cairo as a market for its buses.
The Ashok Leyland venture comes with the signing of a joint venture deal with Egyptian car manufacturer El Nasr Automotive Manufacturing and, initially, will extend and modernise an El Nasr factory in Cairo that will produce trucks, vans, pick-ups and buses in all-electric mode.
Ashok Leyland is looking to see its range of ‘circuit’ buses moving about African roads – this vehicle with artificial intelligence (AI) needs a single daily charge to travel up to 120 kilometres.
In recent years, the global automotive industry has witnessed a significant shift towards sustainable transportation solutions, with electric vehicles (EVs) emerging as a promising alternative to traditional fossil fuel-powered cars.
While the adoption of EVs has gained momentum in many parts of the world, Africa, with its unique set of challenges and opportunities, is gradually making progress in embracing this transformative technology. This article delves into the advancements of electric vehicles in Africa, exploring the driving forces behind their growth, notable initiatives, and the potential impact on the continent’s sustainable development.
Challenges and Opportunities
Africa faces several challenges when it comes to the widespread adoption of electric vehicles. These challenges include limited charging infrastructure, high upfront costs, inadequate access to electricity, and concerns about range anxiety.
However, amidst these challenges lie opportunities that can be leveraged to accelerate the growth of EVs. Africa’s abundant renewable energy resources, such as solar and wind, present an ideal foundation for sustainable charging infrastructure. Additionally, the continent’s rising middle class, urbanisation trends, and the need for cleaner transportation solutions create a fertile ground for EV market growth.
Public-private partnerships and investments play a crucial role in driving the progress of electric vehicles in Africa. International organisations, development banks, and private companies have recognised the potential of the African market and are investing in various EV-related initiatives.
For example, the African Development Bank launched the ‘Green Mini-Grid Market Development Program’ to support the deployment of off-grid renewable energy systems, including solar-powered charging stations. Companies such as Tesla, BYD, and Nissan have also shown interest in expanding their presence in Africa, either through partnerships or direct investments.
Public transportation represents a significant opportunity for electric vehicle adoption in Africa. Many African cities are characterised by congested roads and poor air quality, making the transition to electric buses a viable solution.